Liquid Rock: Gathering, Flattening, Curing

Rachel Harkness, Cristian Simonetti, Judith Winter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Over the last year, as the authors of this text, we have been working collaboratively to explore concrete through experiments with it as a material.2 The following contribution has been formed around three gestures or movements that came to the fore as we worked the material together, namely Gathering, Flattening and Curing. By focusing on these gestures we propose an alternative story of concrete that seeks to complicate both its assumed solidity and its foundational role in the building of modernity.
In our first gesture, Gathering, we consider concrete as a concrescence or a ‘growing together’ of different materials and begin to question both its solidity and its supposed modernity. In Flattening, we reveal a tendency to smooth concrete surfaces which belongs to a view of history as the superimposition of flat squared blocks and relates to modern narratives of progress. By way of an etymological foray into the associated terms of curing, caring and curating, in the third and final gesture, we consider the nascent state of concrete as a way of thinking about resisting objectification, fossilization and the mythical promise of permanence. The article is written in the round, then, for we end where we began: with rubble, with aggregate, with elements, dispersed and gathering
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-326
Number of pages18
Issue number3
Early online date21 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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