Stone Stacks



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Creation Date

Fall 2016


Materials: books, stones

Browsing the stacks is becoming a lost art and pleasure in libraries as search and research methods evolve with the development of digital media. Perusing these stacked books, words, and stones in a leisurely manner recuperates the library's role as a space for slow time. Philosophical excerpts mark different ways of thinking about how stones and humans relate to one another, an important theme within the current 'geological turn' in critical theory and the humanities generally. Stone displays and poetic texts invite meditative immersion in the deep time of geology, opening a dialogue between stone and story, earth and humans.

Slow time exercises for this display:

  1. View/read the exhibit closely and slowly for 10 minutes. Write down any thoughts, reactions, questions, or concepts that are sparked by the displays, including the texts.
  2. Pick a stone, stone stack, or object on display and write a precise description (size, form, texture, color).
  3. Write a short text that responds to your selected item. It can be a poem, a series of thoughts, a reflection.
  4. Note your responses to the balanced stones—what thoughts, feelings, or ideas do you have in looking at them? How do stone stacks relate to time? What kinds of time are involved in the stone stacks?
  5. How does the Stone Stacks exhibit make you think about time? About the relation of humans and stone? Humans and earth? Write 100 – 250 words about any of these questions.