Monday, April 14, 2008

halted states (1)

lava rock from VesuviusIn its current form, this rock was created between 18th and 23rd March 1944 on Mount Vesuvius. It had existed in a more liquid form for quite a while prior to that, and in reality it is as old as the Earth. It is literally in the halted state of solidification and cracking caused by cooling and subsequent moving of its parent lava flow. Conceptually, it is a snapshot of a random moment in the history of Vesuvius. It was collected by Gwen in June 1993, and photographed by me last week.

quartz-like rock from GavarnieThis second rock sample cannot benefit from such precise dating. I can tell you exactly where it was collected (just below the Grande Cascade de Gavarnie, Cirque de Gavarnie, Hautes-Pyrénées, France), when it was collected (September 1992), and by whom (Gwen); but it wholly resists the precise forensic dating of the Vesuvius rock. However, it is no less interesting. The surface shown here has the appearance of having once been liquid, and in contact with another surface that had also been liquid or flexible. The reverse side reveals that the rock is actually a rather heavy quartz.

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