This lecture presents a lineage of works from the late 1960s to the present in ceramics, installations, site investigations, and environmental projects, inspired by geologic/anthropogenic transformations of our sea/landscape from the Proterozoic to the Anthropocene.
In geologic time, the land and sea are mutable and interdependent. They can be construed as forms of each other. The processes of erosion and deposition are cyclical inversions of each other, a continuum of land and sea interaction through which new land is being formed as we read. In this fundamental way, land/seascapes are constructed of previous land/seascapes, each carrying the blueprint of their ancestor. These constructs of interaction and change are intrinsic to the mystery of land and sea. They are generative to both artist and scientist alike. Of equal value: indigenous, poetic, and metaphysical interpretations of land and sea systems.
John Roloff (Professor, Sculpture/Ceramics, San Francisco Art Institute) is a visual artist whose work engages poetic and site-specific relationships between material, concept, and performance in the domains of geology, ecology, architecture, ceramics, industry and mining, metabolic systems, and history. His work has been included in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the UC Berkeley Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution, Photoscene Cologne, the Venice Architectural and Art Biennales, and the Snow Show in Kemi, Finland. He has received three visual art fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, a California Arts Council grant for visual artists, and a Bernard Osher Fellowship at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California.