A Published Event – Justy Phillips and Margaret Woodward

Erratic Ecologies Field Station, Or an emergent apparatus for speculative research (2019)

Sixty-two copper-foiled episodes, two lengths of solid copper bar, one block of quarried Stony Creek Granite, one archival blueprint. A Published Event. New Haven, CT. Dimensions W 24cm X H 13cm x D 3cm.

This ‘field station’— is an apparatus for viewing and recording erratic activity, glacial movements and materialities of the body. It records our activities, experiences and feelings during our 31 day Ruth Stephan Research Fellowship at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University, and associated fieldwork in the post-glacial landscapes of New England, USA. During this research fellowship we developed
an experimental approach to studying ‘erratics’, most commonly understood as ‘glacially transported boulders’ and investigated the origins of the word ‘erratic’, which comes from the Latin ‘errare’, to wander or stray. We discovered how this term, over time, has wandered through fields of astronomy, theology, cosmology, glaciology, cardiology, psychology, literature and climatology and has come to rest so firmly with geology. Each card is an episode, a daily tool for attuning to archive, site, and the confused circulations of the body using languages of metallurgy, deep time and materiality. The accompanying blueprint traces our journey through the holdings of the Beinecke library and across the landscapes of Connecticut and Massachusetts shaped in the wake of the Wisconsin ice sheet some 18,000 years ago. The granite block was sourced from the Stony Creek quarry, in Branford Connecticut, famous for quarrying granite for iconic monuments and landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty. In this work we are asking, How might conditions of ‘erraticness’ call us to the present? And how might this calling prepare us to take action? This work is held in the collection of The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

Artists Justy Phillips and Margaret Woodward, (artist duo, A Published Event) make long-term relational artworks through shared acts of public telling. Exploring chance encounter, constructed situations and the shared authorship of lived experience, we work with language, ideas and publishing. At its heart, A Published Event is a raw, social practice that explores the possibilities of ‘slow-publishing’. We place a high value on collaboration, developing long-term relationships with a wide range of artists and writers.


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