Poetics of Encryption
Book Launch:
The Desert Turned to Glass


with Charles Stankievech, Dehlia Hannah, Ala Roushan and Nadim Samman


27 April 24, 5 pm
In English
Venue: KW Courtyard
Registration via reservation@kw-berlin.de


<p>Charles Stankievech, <em>The Desert Turned to Glass</em>, Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2024</p>

Charles Stankievech, The Desert Turned to Glass, Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2024


Commemorating the centenary of the planetarium as an architectural type, this book collects reflections upon the origin of life, consciousness, and art—bridging the cosmological visions of cave art and modern technologies of stargazing. Richly illustrated, the book pairs images of Stankievech’s installations and cinematic works with newly commissioned writings by geologists, exobiologists, philosophers and archeologists. Spanning the abyss of space and the depths of the earth, The Desert Turned to Glass is an epic meditation on origins, endings, and infinity.


This book launch accompanies Charles Stankievech’s video installation Eye of Silence (2023) shown at KW, as part of the exhibition Poetics of Encryption. The work brings together footage from the Albertan Badlands, Utah Salt Flats, Icelandic and Japanese volcanoes, and a meteorite crater in the Namibian desert—along with LiDAR scans of caves and more. Connecting deep space with the darkness of prehistory, the piece posits a hallucination at the center of both. The publication The Desert Turned to Glass (Hatje Cantz, 2024) is edited by Dehlia Hannah, Ala Roushan, and Nadim Samman.


Charles Stankievech is an artist redefining “fieldwork” at the convergence of geopolitics, deep ecologies, and sonic resonances. From the Arctic’s northernmost settlement to the depths of the Pacific Ocean, Stankievech’s practice uncovers the paradoxes of our existence on the planet by engaging with the imperceptible. He is Associate Professor at the University of Toronto.


Dehlia Hannah Ph.D. is a curator and philosopher of nature. She is Associate Professor of Environmental Aesthetics at the University of Copenhagen in the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies. Her current research and curatorial project Rewilding the Museum is hosted by ARKEN Museum of Contemporary Art and supported by the Ny Carlsberg Foundation.


Ala Roushan is a curator and Associate Professor at OCAD University, Toronto. She holds a research position at the University of Tokyo while leading the SSHRC research project Shaping Atmospheres, examining the complex relations of air and architecture as they affect our planetary environment.


Nadim Samman Ph.D. is KW Curator for the Digital Sphere.