The Human Role in the Formation of South Works: Iron, Limestone & Slag

Stella Brown

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The South Works Deep Geological Study is an investigation into the history of the South Works site through its geology. The land jutting into the lake is made up of mostly slag, the rock-like waste material of metal making processes, dumped by steel mills between the late 1880s and 1922, expanding the land from an original 73 acres to the present 573 currently owned by U.S. Steel and the Chicago Park District. This study brings the geology of the site up from below, both literally and figuratively, in order to expose the history of the site through human actions and to delve into the social, ecological, and environmental history of the place. It works to locate human history on the deep geological time scale within the Anthropocene, the geologic epoch we now inhabit defined by permanent changes brought upon the planet by human actions, and to acknowledge the role that people played in shaping this unique landscape.
Dimensions: 6 x 9", 20 pages
Materials: Staple-bound, black and white ink on paper


Stella Brown
(Humboldt Park)

Stella Brown is an artist, curator, and the founding Director of Buddy. She received her BA from New York University in 2019 from the Gallatin School of Individualized study with a concentration in Collection and Display of the Cultural Object, and MFA in Studio Art from the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Art & Art History in 2019. Her areas of study and subjects for curatorial and art projects include the history of museum display, natural history practices as well as contemporary ecological restoration practices particularly in the Chicago region, the Anthropocene era of man-made geology in the city of Chicago, and the acts of display and consumerism that take place in store displays and souvenir shop environments. In the last 5 years she has presented her own artwork and curated a number of public exhibitions and programming events at venues including Gallery 400, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Goldfinch Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, ACRE, and Shoot the Lobster.