In September 2008 the port of Rotterdam (Maasvlakte), the largest in Europe, underwent a dramatic transformation based on a plan of extending its land 20% of its original size. It is estimated that when this project is finished, a total of 5 million tons of stone would have been bought and transported from Scandinavia for the construction of dikes and dams. Coincidentally, the few stones that can be found in Holland were almost entirely brought from this region thousands of years ago due to glacial movement. These stones are known as “erratic stones”.
A search for an “erratic stone” was organized at the same time as construction works began on the Maasvlakte, both as a symbolic gesture and a critique of the effectiveness and significance of ecological compensation programs. Finally, an approximately three and half-ton stone was found in a farm near the town of Erica, close to Emmen, Holland. A geologist analyzed it to determine its place of origin. Once this information was confirmed, the stone was moved and then abandoned in a forest in southern Sweden in January 8, 2010.
Before this action took place, I made three drawings caricaturing the process, the potential results of my proposal, as well as a “diagram” where I gathered stories related to the idea of compensation and its subsequent effects.
The event of the displacement of the stone was registered following a method used in archeology when a site with a prehistoric megalith, particularly those known as hunebedden, is discovered. The method consists in locating the holes left by the stones, filling them up with plaster or concrete, and then leaving them buried in the ground as a mark.
Plaster cast, piece of stone, three drawings and a diagram.
Produced by the Port of Rotterdam in collaboration with Skor, Amsterdam.