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interviews

1000 WORDS: KATIE PATERSON AND MARGARET ATWOOD

THE WORKS of Katie Paterson go sailing off the scale of civilization. Using technologies normally applied to the speed and scope of human experience, the Scottish artist zooms out or tunnels in to other, more alien dimensions, reframing natural and cosmic phenomena. When she maps the approximately twenty-seven thousand dead stars that have been observed by humankind (All the Dead Stars, 2009) or chisels a grain of sand down to the size of dust and buries it in the Sahara (Inside this desert lies the tiniest grain of sand, 2010), anthropocentric worldviews are dissipated in favor of a different kind of consciousness, one keyed to evolutionary systems and rooted in contact with igneous chaos. Perhaps it is necessary to humble humankind in this way—denuding our imagination, sublating our reason—to bring a sense of discovery back to an era in which we are otherwise more likely to

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