Lithic Choreographies

Sam Smith, Lithic Choreographies (2018)

JULY 2019

Gotland was first discovered by a man named Tjelvar. At that time, the island was so bewitched that it sank beneath the waves each day and rose again at night. This man was the first to bring fire to Gotland, and after, it never sank again.
– Guta Saga: The Tales of the Gutes

Lithic Choreographies is a reading list inspired by Sam Smith’s 2018 film of the same name, shot on the Swedish island of Gotland. Characterised by palaeo-sea-stacks, viking burial sites, quarries and concrete production plants, the island’s geological strata holds the record of Gotland’s evolving materiality from its formation as an equatorial coral reef to its emergence from the sea as a limestone landmass, now host to a Baltic ecosystem. Lithic Choreographies seeks to re-imagine our modes of engagement with and contributions to ecological assemblages, focusing on how minerals are circulated in economic, cultural and agricultural contexts.

Guta Saga: The Tales of the Gutes (Fornsalens Förlag, 2012)

J.G. Ballard, The Drowned World (Harper Perennial, 2010)

Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things (Duke University Press, 2010)

Nils Bubandt, Elaine Gan, Heather Anne Swanson & Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing (eds.), Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene (University of Minnesota Press, 2017)

Richard Grusin (ed.), Anthropocene Feminism (University of Minnesota Press, 2017)

Sara Eliason, Sunstones and Catskulls: Guide to the Fossils and Geology of Gotland (Fornsalens Förlag, 2000)

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (Princeton University Press, 2017)

Jussi Parikka, The Anthrobscene (University of Minnesota Press, 2014)