The Museum of Stones is an imaginary topography that connects deep time, post-socialist immediacy, mineralogical research, extraction, computation and self-organised resistance. In the form of an anonymous Telegram newspaper, it is collectively edited by a group of cultural workers, taking its title from an open-air museum in the suburban district of Uručča in Minsk, Belarus. Located between concrete-panelled apartment blocks, the Institute of Geochemistry and Geophysics of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and the High Technology Park, the area presents a highly manipulated natural landscape that features a collection of stones from various regions of Belarus and mimics the shape of the Belarusian map to scale.
We walk the path through the mini-Belarusian landscape. Through pagan stones, ravers' parties, parking lots of wealthy programmers and cheap cafeterias. What is it saying about its belonging to a certain state? I hear the noise of a helicopter. ‘This happens from time to time after the escalation of the war’ says S. There is an airfield not far from here. Belarusian troops must be training the Russian military. I try to scan the landscape with my eyes, noticing these gaps of still alive but hidden revolution, reminders of people’s desire to change the political structure, colourful slogans on top of the stones, insects flying around, gazes and smells. The crystal structure of stones allows them to store and exchange memories.
The Museum of Stones refers to various tensions of ideological control and economic extraction, the strikes of AI and computation, deep mineralogical time and synthetic landscape, forms of neighbourhood self-organisations and resistance. (Museum of Stones Editorial Collective)