(I Can’t Get No) Liquefaction

Emerging from a 50-story underground system of wooden ladders (2016).

Ground materials of certain types – saturated, uncompacted sandy soils, most typically – will lose cohesion when shaken by an earthquake and behave temporarily like liquids. During such episodes, all manner of dramatic curiosities have been witnessed: mud volcanoes and quick clays; colossal, snaking sand blows (the subject of a seismic Urne Buriall I will present at the Denver AAG next year); cars swallowed by parking spaces; utility pipes bent upward like piloerective hairs on the back of a frightened cat.

Years ago, while my friend Geoff and I jawed about mining futures at Devil’s Punchbowl (and the yolk in my skull hard poached), I, ah, floated the idea that liquefaction might be deliberately induced for purposes of uplifting an ore body, or even an archaeological find.

More recently (after pressing palms with David Copperfield), it occurred to me that it might also be possible to induce liquefaction in a field so that a person (this person), buried alive, rises out of the earth. Sort of a reverse image of Keith Arnatt’s Self-Burial (Television Interference Project) or Oddvar I. N. Daren’s Measuring the Depth of Snow – except, you know, actually happening; experienceable (by the onlooker, not just by me) in ways – and at scales, temporal and otherwise – determined by geophysics not Photoshop.

Keith Arnatt – Self-Burial
Oddvar I. N. Daren’s Measuring the Depth of Snow

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s