Speculative Landscapes

Collaboration with Rubiane Maia, Marta Fernandez Calvo and Cherry Truluck

Created with Custom Food Lab

A landslide and site of rare geological interest on the border between the UK and France, the Folkestone Warren, the site is one of the most active landslides in Britain. It is also one of the most surveyed: monitored and observed for shifts in climate, erosion, geology and is said to have been one of the first geological explorations in Europe. The landslide originates 40 meters underground, an earthly reality that is controlled through vast terraforming projects and monitored on the surface.

Through Speculative Landscapes, our research collective attempted to rethink the relationship of the small institution of Custom (a food, art and research project with garden) to the lands of the Warren which lay beyond the edge of the garden. The land is explored as a hovering network of geological stories, vast underground reserves of disruption, knowledges, journeys, loves and memories, spreading below the surface like a blanket of plants roots that inhabit the landscape – goosegrass, knotweed, sea beets, sour fig, brambles and ivy. The collective set out to explore practices of more than human relationality on scales from the microbial to the interplanetary.

We collaborated with artist astrologer Madeleine Botet de Lacaze and Thom Nobrega on an astrocartographical reading of the landscape which shaped our understanding of the warrens role in more complex stories of geologies, mining, and extraction.