Alchemical Speculative Placemaking

Prima Materia

“This Matter lies before the eyes of all; everybody sees it, touches it, loves it, but knows it not. It is glorious and vile, precious and of small account, and is found everywhere. To be brief, our Matter has as many names as there are things in the world; that is why the foolish know it not.” – The Golden Tract Concerning the Stone of the Philosophers

“The earliest source of First Matter for alchemists was the black, fertile soil of the Nile Delta. The very word ‘alchemy’ is from the Arabic al-khemia meaning ‘from the black dirt’ of the Nile. Alchemists today still look for the First Matter in black soil.” – Dennis Hauck

“Matter doesn’t disappear, it transforms. Energy is the same way. The Earth is layer upon layer of all that has existed, remembered by the dirt. It is time to turn capitalism into a fossil, time to turn the soil, turn to the horizon together.”
– adrienne maree brown

Cloud of Chaos, Michel de Marolles

The prima materia is everywhere, everything. The highest and lowest; the most beloved and most despised. It is the unbounded chaos in which all potentialities lie. Coursing through our world and ourselves, our pasts that form the soil on which our presents stand. Pain and joy, cruelty and ecstasy, and all that resides in between. There is no need to find it. It is already here.

Breathe in and feel yourself presencing. This is the First Matter we bring forward into the work, that we introduce to the stages of transformation.

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