Slow Fast Mountains (earth aroma) — Experimenta

Searching for

Suggested Terms

David Haines
Slow Fast Mountains (earth aroma)



Lumps of coal found on the edge of the Wollemi National Park were taken from the middle of a dirt road that runs through the Newnes State Forest in the Blue Mountains, NSW. Coal mines deep below extend underground into sensitive areas. Custom tables made in Haines’ workshop house the emission of these gaseous rocks into the gallery space. The aroma of damp earth (petrichor) fills the gallery space.

Geosmin, a relatively hard to obtain aromatic molecule is isolated from a harmless bacterium and mixed into a number of modifying aroma chemicals. These relatively non smelly chemicals give silage and body to a fragrance. Everyone who smells the fragrance gets this damp earthy smell immediately, and most seem to like it. Haines posits if this is because in the distant past, our noses were much closer to the ground? Scientists believe that humans can detect geosmin at about 1 part per billion in the air.

The Artist
David Haines

David Haines lives and works in the Blue Mountains, Australia.