This body of work has stemmed from a kind of ceramic folklore involving peoples' initial discovery of the material. Before people fired pots they were a mobile society of basket makers. As they began to cultivate the land and harvest a greater surplus of grain they required more containers that would be resistant to rodents and the open air. They lined their baskets with clay and in a serendipitous event a fire destroyed most of their material possessions but left them with some insight. The interior of that basket became the first ceramic pot. Beyond its potential as a prototype for their future, in its hardened exterior bore the impressions of their past. It became a fossil to an ephemeral and mobile society; a momento to a new culture that would seek eternal life carving their name in earth.



The range of information this object says about their society's soft culture has lead me to find new meaning in our material culture. If one can deduce that a mobile culture produces impermanent objects from ephemeral materials, and sedentary society produces more permanent objects from archival materials; than what is to be inferred from a culture which produces disposable objects from permanent materials? 

© 2013 by Zach Balousek. All rights reserved.

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