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Eye of Silence



Commissioned for the 100th Anniversary of the Planetarium,
Eye of Silence is an immersive video installation that entwines science fiction speculation and contemporary scientific theories on the origin of life, consciousness, and art.


Charles Stankievech:
The Desert Turned to Glas

Edited by: Ala Roushan, Dehlia Hannah, Nadim Samman

Not only visually documenting a project commissioned for the 100th anniversary of the planetarium, the dense book archives the research by Stankievech on the history of domed architecture as it relates to the origins of life, consciousness and art. The book opens with a new translation of Walter Benjamin’s original text written on the opening of the first planetarium in 1923 and then is followed by three original essays on Stankievech’s work by Ala Roushan, Dehlia Hannah and Nadim Samman. Additional essays by physicist Karen Barad and archeologist David Lewis-Williams discuss cosmological questions from a deep time perspective. A 1969 short story by Clarice Lispector follows a comprehensive glossary written by Stankievech creating portals to various areas of the research. Five experts – in the fields of geoscience, meteorites, Indigenous architecture, Zen Buddhism, and Artificial Life – were engaged in the production of the project and subsequently interviewed by the artist for the book. A special silver duotone spread presents a visual essay on the history of domes from prehistoric cave rituals to subterranean dark matter lab. In the artist’s typical material strategy, facsimile reprints of J.G. Ballard’s first three novels are presented in an argument for the birth of the genre Climate Fiction. A conversation on the methodology of "Fieldwork" closes the volume.

Texts by:

J.G. Ballard
Karen Barad
Walter Benjamin
Douglas Cardinal
Dehlia Hannah
Takashi Ikegami
Takafumi Kawakami
J. David Lewis-Williams
Clarice Lispector
Ala Roushan
Nadim Samman
Barbara Sherwood Lollar
Charles Stankievech
Kim Tait

Designed by Raf Rennie

Dustjacket: debossed with metallic ink
Book: special deep black ink process

192 Pages, 70 Ills. 274mm x 246mm

ISBN: 978-3-7757-5531-3


Published by Hatje Cantz with support from Contemporary Calgary and Canada Council for the Arts.