UNEARTH – In Between States of Matter

By Anika Schwarzlose with Brian McKenna, featuring Animations by Sam ten Thij

Shown at IFFR 


the first chapter of the short film series UNEARTH. The film series presents a research into processes connected to resource extraction and the way this practice is embedded in an ecological, political and mythological context. In Between States of Matter zooms in on material transformations and mining machines. It weaves together fragments from conversations that were recorded in the Russian Ural Mountain region.
An author, who grew up in a mining town, speaks about her life long obsession with stones. Two geologists report the emergence of new, previously unknown minerals in regions that are shaped by large-scale resource extraction. Those minerals occur in slag heaps, which heat up internally and in this way become quasi artificial volcanoes. Mineral transformations, induced by human activity, cause mutational and generative processes in biological life: a cycle which inspires thoughts on mineral and human coevolution and contributes to a debate that redefines the separation between life and non-life.
Mining machines are portrayed as complex agents, with attention to their past, present and future states of aggregation and their existence in between the human and the mineral world.

Film by Anika Schwarzlose in collaboration with Brian McKenna

Music: B. J. Nilsen
Production / translation: Anna Litovskikh
3D models and animations: Sam ten Thij, Ivan Zamorev
Text excerpts based on: ‘Stone and Dark Carbon’ by Elena Solowjowa
Excerpts from conversations with: Marat Safin & Alexander Eremeev, Tatiana Khamanova, Ivan Zamorev

Made possible with the generous support of:
Embassy of the Netherlands in Moscow 5th Ural Industrial Biennial
NCCA Yekaterinburg
Mondriaan Fonds