Soil - The Dark Horizon

Montag, Daro (2015) Soil - The Dark Horizon. In: Wildness / Wilderness symposium, 26.6.2015, Plymouth University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract / Summary

We are surface dwellers and have, through thousands of years of civilisation, changed the entire surface of the earth. As a result there is little left on our planet that can be thought of as true wilderness. Similarly we have, over the past couple of hundred years, radically changed the atmosphere above the surface. The climate we have manufactured has not been present over earth during the last 800,000 years – and quite possibly much longer. Even the vast oceans, except for the deepest trenches, have also been tamed and are being irrevocably changed by human activity. Our expansive activities have brought knowledge of the entire world to our doorstep and at the same time have brushed any real sense of wilderness under the doormat.

Although the notion of wilderness has necessarily retreated due to our expansion it can, quite surprisingly, still be found close to home – often lurking just outside our back door. Indeed, the wild still exists and is frequently overlooked; it remains, not on or above the surface of the earth, but within the top few inches of soil. Soil is both familiar and taken for granted and yet also mysterious and forbidding. Its associations with disease and death seem to run counter to the fact that it is the great provider of terrestrial life – most of our food is dependent upon healthy soils. Beyond simply providing the sustenance for our human existence, soil is also home to the majority of the world’s creatures. Despite this, much of what happens in the soil remains unknown; it is the final frontier - the dark horizon.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Subjects: Arts > Fine Art
Courses by Department: The Institute of Photography > Marine & Natural History
Depositing User: Daro Montag
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2017 15:51
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 16:08


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