Giving depth to the surface: An exercise in the Gaia-graphy of critical zones
First Published June 29, 2018 – Research Article in The Antropocene Review
Foregrounding the importance of soil and more generally the surface of the Earth – what is now often called the critical zone (CZ) – remains very difficult as long as the usual planetary view, familiar since the scientific revolution, is maintained. In this joint effort coauthored by a landscape architect, a historian of science and a geochemist, we propose what is called in history of drawing an anamorphosis, that is, a distorsion of image made through an instrument or a change in perspective. Such anamorphosis allows us to shift from a planetary vision of sites located in the geographic grid, to a representation of events located in what we call a Gaia-graphic view. We claim that such a view is much better suited to situate the new actors of the Anthropocene because it brings pride of place to the CZ.