Quarry Sonnets

19.11 - 26.11.22
Vale de Meios, Alcanede

Main Research

Miguel Santos


19.11 — 26.11.22

Quarry Sonnets is a research project led by Miguel Santos that aims to develop novel artistic methodologies for a multispecies societal change. The focus is on the Vale de Meios Quarry in the Natural Park Serra de Aires and Candeeiros, Portugal. The area has been a source of limestone extraction for hundreds of years, literarily paving the way for many Portuguese streets. 

In 1998, dinosaurs’ footsteps were discovered on site, tentatively from around 168 000 000 years ago. These distinct temporal dimensions remind us that humans are a minor footnote in the earth’s history: different times and assemblages, coexistent temporal fictions narrated in a more-than-human history. 

Contemporary quarries are often hidden from public view but entangled in local heritages and their ecologies, including distant stories and uses of a globalized economy. At the confluence of this environmental, temporal, and societal conversation is an economic and metabolic exchange that co-exists and co-evolves with multiple species and across times.  

The artist-in-residence was developed in a weeklong fieldwork event (November 2022) in the Vale de Meios Quarry area with 45 participants from 6 European Universities. The participants were hosted at the Centro Ciência Viva do Alviela – Carsoscópio and worked in small groups with different backgrounds and levels of expertise in a collective effort to propose ideas for quarry rehabilitation, which culminated with a public event with the local community organized by the Conselho Diretivo dos Baldios de Valverde, Pé da Pedreira, Barreirinhas e Murteira. The weeklong programme transformed the quarry into a hub for multispecies conversations, generating ideas for further discussion and implementation by the quarry stakeholders. 

Participating Universities:

ESAD.CR (Portugal), Limerick School of Art and Design (Ireland), FHV – Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences (Austria), Bauhaus-University Weimar (Germany), Vilnius Academy of Art (Lithuania), Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Switzerland).


Centro Ciência Viva do Alviela – Carsoscópio

Conselho Diretivo dos Baldios de Valverde, Pé da Pedreira, Barreirinhas e Murteira

Parque Natural Serra de Aires e Candeeiros


This work is co-funded by national funds through FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, I.P., in the scope of the Programmatic Funding allocated to the Research Laboratory in Design and Arts (LIDA) with the reference “UIDP/05468/2020″ and by the European Union. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor the EACEA can be held responsible for these views.