Katrin Hornek’s Casting Haze is a longterm project with scientists based on CO2 mineralization technologies, examining their geographies, economies, industrial entanglement and philosophical grounding. For Hysterical Mining, she crystallizes one moment of the process in a multimedia installation composed of a video, a printed curtain and a clay landscape – collectively shaped.
From our expiring lungs to deep sea shells, from living biomass to combustion engines and skyscrapers using shelllimestone- based cement, carbon dioxide is found everywhere in different states. At the same time a dematerialised product of industrialisation, a heating blanket for climate change and the backbone of computerised societies, CO2 is also involved in all metabolic processes between organisms and the earth’s crust. Trying to re-edit, rewind and fast forward this carbon dioxide circle in a mechanical way, researchers and companies from all over the world aim to bring CO2 into a stable and storable state, and re-implement it into productive cycles in order to make profit out of it.
Combining research-based analysis and artistic speculation, Hornek plans to realise a 14-kilogram sculpture from air- or water-based CO2 mineralization technologies that will act as a trophy for the most productive fixation method. Called Atmosphere – The Decarbonization Trophy, it will ideally be awarded in 2030. The sculpture will emerge from diverse collected and assembled 3D CO2 remineralised samples. Its weight will correspond to the average one-month CO2 emission by a single human body at rest.
The promotional video for the future award ceremony is framed by an undulating, semi-transparent and almost psychedelic curtain featuring logos of companies that are currently involved in carbon capture, utilisation and/or storage, on a background that pictures animal carbon capture and mineralization organisms called nummulites. The slowly withering clay floor has been created in a collective gesture during a lectureperformance staged as a journey where the changing relations between humans and stones across time are narrated and felt, at a time where humans have become a geological force.
Text: Booklet, Hysterical Mining, Kunsthalle Wien