Claire Pentecost’s “Notes from Underground” uncover a peculiar and trans-disciplinary knowledge about soil, its preferences and inhabitants. We learn forgotten and new things about composting, the rehabilitation of lifeless soil, bacterial molecules that produce collective signals, and the radical proximity of two organisms when an undigested organism lives inside another. In her deeply grounded critique, which she illustrates with drawings of an “internal world,” the artist and activist Pentecost reflects upon the threat to collective identity and the dreams of human beings within capitalism. In her “turning around,” analyzing and mixing agricultural, ecological, and molecular micro-processes beyond the background of current socio-political developments allows her to germinate ideas regarding the conflicted interrelatedness of “nature” and economy.
Claire Pentecost (*1956) is an artist and writer based in Chicago.