Attending this event?
To view sessions, please select the Grid view below or use the Session Title filter.

After registering for the conference, you can log in here to save sessions to your personalized itinerary, sign up for workshops and performances with limited capacity, edit your profile, and edit your session description. For help using Sched, please see support.

For full details about the conference, please visit hastac2023.org
Back To Schedule
Thursday, June 8 • 5:00pm - Saturday, June 10 • 7:00pm
FSGS: from Seabed to Pressbed

Log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

The Field Studio Geontological Survey (FSGS) is a design research collective assembling and extending Ochre dimensions to address Human/Nonhuman inter-subjectivity and the ontological reconciliation between Life and Nonlife. FSGS is an alternative practice in resistance to the colonial, capitalist influence of the USGS and its products. It expands potential through design methodology and critical making as material knowledge production. (Ratto) The geontological survey is concerned not-only with the ontology of geological beings but also the agency and entanglements that surround them in more-than-human worlds. I am proposing an exhibition of Ochre bodies, pigments, swatches, and resulting maps from FSGS surveys at the East Tintic Mining District in so-called Utah. This proposal is directly relevant to the conference theme as an example of critical making for social justice and intersects with multiple aspects of the identified conference scope. To complement the exhibition, I would like to facilitate Ochre Office Hours—a demonstration and participatory workshop in which conference attendees can experience Ochre first hand. I have facilitated Office Hours with multiple groups of all ages, publicly, in the classroom, and at prior symposia or exhibitions and currently have the Ochres and equipment necessary to do so. If the conference is unable to fund expendable supplies (paper, binder) I will use research funds from my department. Previous Ochre Office Hours can be seen at https://www.unknownprospect.org/ochre-office-hours.

Field Studio Geontological Survey
FSGS works in three modes to survey and report: Field, Studio, and Community Operations. In the act of surveying, Ochres are assembled in field operations in their original form as Ochre bodies, that are later ground to produce Ochre pigments and swatched to extend Ochre dimensions through the materiality of color. In the act of reporting, as designers and makers we are becoming-with Ochre in studio and community operations—the work is communal and involves a public audience through participation and workshops, as well as public exhibitions, publications, and archive. FSGS products include the pigments and swatches as the expressions of Ochre bodies, as well as prints, maps, atlases, and tools that communicate stories of their entanglements in ecologies, in politics, and in movements towards social justice. FSGS centers ethical practices in assembling Ochres with proper permissions and respect for sites. FSGS ochres are only assembled from existing washes, road cuts, and mine tailings where materials are already in a state of flux.

FSGS: Tintic Mining District
The Tintic Mining district is located 60 miles southwest of Salt Lake City at the eastern most edge of the Basin and Range. The district is named for the East Tintic Mountains, which in turn are named for Chief Tintic (1820-1858), a resistance leader of the Timpanogos who retreated to the mountains after losing in battle to the Mormon invasion of his ancestral territory known as the Tintic War. The region including so-called Utah Lake, Utah Valley and the adjacent Goshen, Tintic, and Cedar Valleys, is the ancestral territory of Timpanogos, Ute, Paiute and Shoshone.

I return to the district regularly for FSGS field operations in an ongoing relationship to place and it’s enclosed narratives. For this exhibition I propose including ochre bodies, pigments, and swatches from Tintic, as well as FSGS printed works that illustrate and explore alternatives to the colonial history of the region. Ochre bodies and pigments are displayed on physical constructions I design and fabricate based on vernacular mining precedents. The proposal includes new works as well as the Stellar Corpse Atlas which is a 7-plate atlas describing plural origins and human/nonhuman meanings of the district. Each 12”x18” atlas plate is printed on a Vandercook No. 3, with Ochre from the site applied in a gum arabic binder. I am interested in the multiplicity that emerges in the edition through the variation that occurs in the Ochre application, challenging traditional notions of competence found in consistency. Each print becomes a map, not a tracing. Varying methods of binding media also produce potentials parallel to the phenomena Barad describes when different apparatuses for measurement find light to be either particles or waves: “what we're talking about here is not simply some object reacting differently to different probings but being differently.” (Barad, 2012, p. 6) In different binders and media, Ochre is “being differently” — each print becomes an alternative dimension or reality mapped on the page.

Each product and map produced from surveys at Tintic are only a beginning, a prologue, a point and a line towards further unraveling of past, present, and future. At Tintic, multiple worlds enfold human stratifications intersecting mineral strata. Cartesian notions of time and space—nature or culture—are inadequate to reconcile the plural universes within our earthly landscapes. To navigate multiplicity, we must engage new epistemological tools and return to knowledge embedded in relationship between human and nonhuman. By including Ochre bodies, pigments, and swatches, with their resultant products, participants are engaged in a heuristic experience of the materiality of geological memory, site, and color.


Elpitha Tsoutsounakis

Assistant Professor, University of Utah

Thursday June 8, 2023 5:00pm - Saturday June 10, 2023 7:00pm EDT
Steuben Gallery