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Spontaneous Calcification of Experience: A Collection of Objects

“Every moment instructs, and every object: for wisdom is infused into every form.”
--Emerson, Nature (1844)

This collection has twenty-seven specimens that share a process of becoming. The process, which includes short-term (days, weeks) or even near-spontaneous (seconds, minutes) calcification, creates artifacts that originate not only from organic material or other matter, but from experience—including affect, ontology, psychology or even metaphysical phenomenon, and abstractions.

The discovery of spontaneous calcifications of experience is deeply compelling as an evolutionary advancement, launching interdisciplinary research in archeology, molecular biology and even particle physics. To reveal each specimen’s nature, scientists have unpacked the molecular patterns of the object-as-relic for the embodied (an emotional state, for example), while also attending to molecular patterns on a material/structural level. Therefore, each form is a result of not only catalyzing matter (organic or inorganic) but more importantly, an experience mapped onto that matter. In cases where there is no catalyzing matter, the form is catalyzed by pure experience spontaneously expressed in material form.

These objects are not metaphors. They are actual manifestations of experience, now form, having emerged through a process still being understood. Clues for how this process happens may be found in cellular epigenetics, where the structure of DNA remains consistent while changes in gene expression influences cellular interaction. These gene expressions manifest as real changes in the body, though the changes are not encoded in the DNA itself. Scientists hypothesize a molecular equivalent in materiality, a patterning that expresses not only 1) what the object is materially, and how it is structured formally but 2) how it generates itself into being as both cause and effect of non-material, existential factors.

While all scientists believe these objects to be a watershed evolutionary development, there is no consensus as to their function. As most objects originated within the past eighty years, some scientists relate to them as an expression of a tipping point for existence—a warning for humanity—which implies the possibility of action, response, and repair. Others relate to them as the detritus of a world already lost to an inevitable demise. Either way, there is messaging here, but for what purpose there is no agreement.

click on each object to see its provenance and research summaries

porcelain objects, variable sizes, 1.5"-3.5" diameter