In the vocabulary of geology, the proper term for one type of rock being pushed in-between other stratified segments is an “intercalation.” With reference to its Latin etymology, the word literally means something like “being inserted between an existing ‘proclamation’”— or, something that has been understood as official, and of great importance, is changed because of a new layer or element having entered the reified sequence. In contrast to hard rock, the stuff of narrative is softer and more malleable to begin with.

Nevertheless, in a novel, the work of weaving one story into another shares the eponymous, albeit literary term, “intercalation.” In the wake of the Anthropocene hypothesis— which, at least in part, contends that anthropogenic sedimentations are transforming previous geological compositions in literally fundamental ways— the intercalating of existing “stories” and “official proclamations” with transformative and erratic new layers seems of particular urgency.

intercalation

The intercalations: paginated exhibition series is an experimental foray exploring the structure
of the book as a potential curatorial space

Rachel Steele
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