TLiC / Turning Landscape

Red Earth Falling

Red Earth Falling 13min duration digital video 2014

The oceans of ice and silicate that formed in the Earth’s first billion years contained green iron dissolved in solution, silicate rocks and melt undergoing processes of subduction and eruption, pleating and folding the forming earth. Then bacteria learned to use the sun’s energy and absorb carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen into the green iron oceans - iron sucks up oxygen - and a miraculous transformation was triggered, turning the iron-rich oceans from green ferrous iron (Fe2+) into RED ferric iron (Fe3+), from soluble to insoluble, liquid into particle. Bacteria and sunlight combined and particles of red iron develop. The early forming Earth turned from green to red.

The heavy sinking now particulate iron is drawn down towards the centre of the still forming earth, weighted, drawn to the core. Settling on ancient ocean floors intermittent layers of magnetite/ silicate/ haematite/ silicate/ magnatite layering the Banded Iron Formations, a slow geological formation, now mined for steel - iron is intimately bound up with the history of human evolutionary cultural practices and technological developments.

Siderite (iron carbonate FeCO3) and pyrite (iron sulphide FeS2) minerals are set  free from the exposed rock surface of abandoned coal mines - the act of mining increases the surface area of the rock and introduces oxygen. The iron rich solution streams through the empty passages, transported in the water courses and caverns underground, developing just like the early earth forming irons from green to red as they oxidise on contact with oxygen in the air - these young iron oxides mimic those early ancient earth forming processes as particles settle in river beds and lakes where they form deposits of hydrated ferric oxides.


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