The Other Volcano
Can you become a hero of modern mythology?
“The Other Volcano” is a series of semi-domesticated volcanoes, to be housed for a couple of weeks in the living spaces of volunteers. These designed supra-natural objects are large, imposing, and extremely inconvenient – erupting dust and gloop into the living rooms of volunteers seemingly at random.
“In order to make myself recognized by the Other, I must risk my own life” said Sartre.
The Other Volcano imagines a love-hate relationship, a ‘sleeping giant’ in the corner of your domestic environment, with the power to provoke excitement with its rumblings, and also perhaps fear (if not for one’s life in this case, then at least for the soft furnishings of one’s clean and neat ‘living’ room). It is a project that domesticates the most violent of natural processes, addressing and reinterpreting different natures.
The Other Volcano questions the domestication of nature for entertainment purposes.
The Other Volcano is erupting with pyroclastic flows like the Mount St Helens and is white as the Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano. At an altitude of 2886 meters (9524 feet), Ol Doinyo Lengai towers above the East African Rift Valley in Northern Tanzania, just south of Lake Natron. It is the only volcano in the world that sometimes erupts natrocarbonatite lava, a highly fluid lava that contains almost no silicon. Contact with moisture rapidly turns natrocarbonatite lava white because of chemical reactions that occur when the lava absorbs water.
Mount St Helens is an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. This volcano is well known for its ash explosions and pyroclastic flows.
Additional Informations from Volcanologist, Dr Carina Fearnley: Lecturer in Environmental Hazards, Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University
The 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens was the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the USA. Yet, it was successfully managed by volcanologists using an early warning system, preventing significant loss of life. Following a large earthquake, the north face of the volcano collapsed forming a debris avalanche that triggered a lateral blast causing devastation over a greater distance than the scientists forecast, indicating the unpredictability of volcanic behaviour. The complex nature of volcanic eruptions, the hazards they produce, and the local social and political contexts, make it challenging for scientists to manage volcano’s ‘in their backyard’.
Dr. Carina Fearnley
The Other Volcano by Nelly Ben Hayoun -September 2010
Austin Houldsworth: explosive designer
Nick Ballon: Photography
Dr. Carina Fearnley, Aberthswyth University: volcanologist