Morphing Matter

Artist Publication, 2019

The artist publication Morphing Matter examines lignite from a microscopic level, showing a new-materialistic facet of the material which is thought of as being responsible for the disappearance of over 300 villages in West Germany. Starting from the transition zone between industrial and post-industrial area within the ENCI pit in Maastricht, the Netherlands, Miriam has started an extensive research project into her family history, situated just across the boarder in the landscape of North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany. This place is home to the biggest lignite excavation site in Europe.

The book bundles essays of her research and different zoomed-in samples of lignite, made at the Dutch Brain Institute with the help of neurologist Tycho Hoogland. While lignite looks brown and rather uninteresting to the human eye, enlarged 30 times it inherits a completely different appearance, causing it to look attractive and valuable. This appearance resembles the value which the industry, and we as a society, assign to it. Reacting to the negative and often disastrous media depiction of geo-traumatic and postindustrial landscape, the work confronts the viewer with the contradictionary ‘beauty’ of excavation sites, described as ‘majestic’ and ‘beautiful’, while also causing environmental disstress and groundlessness.
Text & concept: Miriam Sentler (1994, DE/NL)
Design & illustration: Lyanne Polderman (Maastricht, NL)

Size & Binding: 148 x 210 cm 
Paper: Biotop, 120 grams
Printed at: Peter Print
Hand-bound by: the artists
First edition: 16 copies (sold out)
Presented at: Munich Art Book Fair, DE (2018),
Printing Plant Art Book Fair, NL (2019)


Pages of Morphing Matter, 2019

Pages and detail shots out of  Morphing Matter, 2019

© Miriam Sentler 2024