Benera and Estefan
The Last Particles, 2018
mixed-media installation (HD video with stereo sound, 8 min. 45 sec., photography, sand, aluminium structure, microscope, lab cabinet, etc.),
variable dimensions.

Sound: Simina Oprescu
Photo credits: Fanny Trichet
Courtesy by Frac des Pays de la Loire

According to The Sedimentary Record, the sand of Normandy beaches conceals 4% debris of bombs and metal fragments (“magnetic sand”) from the D-Day landings - the battle that helped end the Second World War and redrew the map of Europe. The “magnetic sand”, along with other examples, are forming the layer of the Debrisphere, which stands for a type of artificial terrain, concealed by nature. Almost invisible to the naked eye, placed under the lenses of a microscope, the tiny particles appear as if they are landscapes of their own. 

In 2018, in collaboration with a team of scientists in France, we analyzed the metallic particles, posing the following question: has this micro-ruin the potential to transform into a “natural habitat” in the future, or will just become archeological remnants of a failed civilization? What kind of world can we imagine, emerging from the “ruined present”? We take this “magnetic sand” as the primary material for the installation creating new narratives around the newly revealed particles.

In the video, the particles became actors - tools to manipulate - after a predefined choreographic score. They are moving according to the score, thus gradually becoming one living organism, a collective gathering, a nameless ensemble.

Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, October 2018 

 Scanning electron image of shrapnel grains and       
an iron bread. Several grains show laminated structure.
Earle F. Mc Bride & M. Dane Picard:                
“Shrapnel in Omaha Beach Sand”,                
The Sedimentary Record, Sept. 2011.              

                                                                                                                  The Last Particles, film still, 2018