Stephen Cornford


 Four Million Tonnes per Annum   

In July 2023 it was announced that Crawford Lake, a limestone sinkhole in Canada, would be the site used to test for evidence of the Anthropocene thesis: the idea that human industry has inadvertently ushered in a new geological epoch. A drill core of sediment from the bottom of this lake is now being analysed. If its stratigraphy shows a significant anthropogenic shift from 1950 then, in August this year, the Anthropocene will become officially acknowledged. 

This installation considers the geological impact of industry through the lens of the carbon cycle. Limestone is a carbonate sedimentary rock formed when weathered calcite dissolved in sea water is absorbed by algae which then precipitate to the ocean floor. Chalk, for example, is formed by the phytoplankton coccolithophore, whose name tranlates literally as carriers of little stone berries.  

The work takes as its title the rate of limestone extraction in North East Somerset, placing human measurements of time and volume in contrast to the geological timescales that industrial processes are now considered to have altered. By combining infrared timelapse videos shot in active and disused quarries across the South West with satellite imagery of phytoplankton blooms in the Arctic Ocean, the installation considers the relationship between the local extraction of limestone and its planetary formation. 













Four Million Tonnes per Annum

Spectral Index

Petrified Media

Dark Current Collages
Horizon of Fulfillment

To Photograph A Rock
Pixel Mining

RGB [Retinally Governed Behaviours]

Saturation Trails - Acid
- Laser
- X-Ray
Destruction of an Image Sensor

Constant Linear Velocity
Methodology for a Synaesthetic Screen

Digital Audio Film

Solipsism Cinema

Recorded (on) Delivery
Five Introverted Machines

Binatone Galaxy

In Search of a Concrete Music

Works for Turntable

Three Piece
Air Guitar
Extended Piano

Trespassing The Olympic Site
For Violin, Viola & Tape