ærolito was a collective action carried out in the Mercat del Born in Barcelona, previously one of the most important markets in the city, but recently converted into an archaeological museum. In this action a group of 130 people ingested a meteorite. The rock was a condrite meteorite, older than the Earth and possibly part of an asteroid that formed our solar system. Through the action of ingesting it, the group of people re-signified that stone and the space where the ingestion took place. The action merged the site and the rock in a collective stomach.
Stone in the “market of the stone”
A deafening sound came from the sky, it seemed like the clouds had fractured.
There is no crash of thunder that could sound like that. Then, a massive fireball was
visible from a great distance, as it broke through the mesosphere. Smoke, thunder,
a sonic boom. The beam of light was seen from hundreds of kilometres away. The
sound travelled as an echo over the landscape.
“[…] Then the Sun went down and fire consumed everything, destroying trees,
plants, animals and men. Some Mocoví people feared the fire dove into the water
and became capybaras and alligators. Two of them, husband and wife, sought
refuge in a towering tree, from which they glimpsed rivers of fire flooding the
surface of the Earth. Unexpectedly, the fire rose upwards, burning their faces and
turning them into monkeys”.
The market was built over the remains of the la Rivera district which was destroyed after the War of the Spanish Succession for the construction of the Park of la Ciudadella. It was one of the city’s most important markets until 1971, but due to the site’s medieval heritage, it was recently converted into an archeological museum. Here, the rock sits between the present and the archaeological object.
Each meteorite is a scientific jewel that contains unique astrobiological information about the evolution of our cosmos. Carried by the meteorites, maybe molecules were able to reach the earth and develop life as we know it. These fallen rocks are objects of time-travel; moving through the remote past, colliding with the present and bringing information from another place and a different time to be decoded, recontextualised and re-signifed.
A meteor is the trail of incandescent matter left behind by a meteorite when it passes through the atmosphere. This luminosity is created by a foreign body when it enters the Earth’s ecosystem.
An exogenous body on the Earth.
The ancient Greek sages gave falling stars the name ‘meteor’ to indicate that they were an atmospheric phenomenon, since the term ‘meteora’ referred to events that took place within the atmosphere.334
A meteorite is a meteoroid that reaches the Earth’s crust without disintegrating completely in the atmosphere.
The exogenous body that became endogenous.
It is the crater, the mouth on the Earth, that contains the fossil of an experience, the abandoned body that keeps the graphia far from the place where the rituals took place.
“December 25th, 1704. It is Christmas, the day of the birth of our Lord. As the sun
set approximately during the singing of “Ave Maria”, a sign appeared in the sky. A
sign that was both chilling and frightening, so much so that there was no Christian
who witnessed it without fearing God Almighty. And this sign which I, Miquel
Batlles, saw with my own eyes could be seen from all Christiandom, as many
educated people knowledgeable in this subject have confirmed. Coincidentally,
the sign appeared at the same point that the sun is found at midday in summer,
and for this reason, it could be seen above our heads wherever we were, and a
great racket could be heard. With the sky so clear that not a single could be seen,
the sign emerged and illuminated the Earth like a great bolt of lightning. And so
our gazes were raised to see that in a part of the sky, a great circular orifice had
opened through which the whole mass of Catalonia could have passed. The hole,
completely reddened by an ardent fire, remained open for the time necessary to
say a prayer. The smoke that was emitted lasted more than an hour and a half.
Immediately after the fire signal had disappeared, what sounded like shots of
artillery could be heard, one after another, increasingly, until the gunshots, each
time closer together, became impossible to count. Finally, the sound was like the
deafening murmur that precedes a storm. The turmoil lasted fifteen minutes and it
could be heard above the heads of those who were there where the fire sign could
be seen. And everyone was frightened, seeing what they saw and hearing what
they heard, since the sky was completely clear […]”
ærolito occurred at the Born Market (Barcelona) in April 2014, curated by Helena Tatay and Lali Canosa and produced by El Born Centre de Cultura i Mèmoria.
The project was developed in collaboration with Blanca Pujals, Carlos Gil, Belen Zahera, Jose Vicente Casado, Jordi Llorca, Marc Boada, German Consetti, Lisa Marrani, David Batignani, Fabian and Eva.