The installation enacts an infrastructural imaginary in which an ore of granular particles (silica and iron) is written and read as a granular record. The imaginary consists of a coupled machine that reads the ore by performing its erosion and magnetic sorting layer by layer, while simultaneously writing the ore by depositing its residual sediments linearly according to the measured values. Manual labor is required to exchange what has been read as ore with what has been written as ore, and what has been written as ore with what has been read as ore, in order to continue the process. Recognizing the ore as a record paradoxically requires its dismantling, and its new writing is susceptible to the resilience of its residues, entangled labor, and discrete measurements. The ore and the record change iteratively with each cycle, revealing the agency of matter itself and its entanglement with information.
The work explores a new digital materialism that relies on the non-dichotomous, intra-active tensions between the distinction and convergence of matter as its core fundamental aspect. On the one hand, it enacts an infrastructure of mineral processing that takes place at outsourced mining sites that support contemporary technology, thus incorporating infrastructures into the ontology of technological devices; on the other hand, it re-imagines such infrastructures as habitats of reading and writing the earth and its landscapes as digital ores of residue and value. In a habitat where humans, digital machines, and matter meet concretely, technological black boxes are unpacked, residual landscapes gain agency, and ores become records of habitual recognition and means of withdrawal from an economy of thought.