written by Marigold WarnerP
ublished on 29 October 2020
All images from 12 Hz by Ron Jude, published by Mack © Ron Jude.
Jude’s latest title is a reminder of the scale of natural forces, which have operated independently of our anthropocentric experiences, billions of years before us, and for billions of years to come
Cooling lava, tidal currents and glacial ice cascade through Ron Jude’s latest photobook, 12 Hz. “A lot of things are said, in a lot of places, a lot of words cluster about, and thoughts buzz around them in clouds like flies, and ideas clot within them like disease,” says a short text that accompanies the images. “And beneath all the ideas and thoughts… Beneath all of this is Rock.”
A professor of art at the University of Oregon, Jude’s work often explores the relationship between people, place, nature and memory. Made between 2017 and 2020 around mainland US, Hawaii and Iceland, the images in 12 Hz depict rocks, glaciers and volcanoes – vast, living entities, captured in stark black-and-white. But there is a patience to the landscapes that Jude captures – a sense that they are not moving in any timescale set by humanity. The title of the work refers to the lowest sound threshold of human hearing, alluding to forces of ungraspable scale, operating independently of our anthropocentric experiences.
During a time of ecological and political crisis, Jude’s workis a reminder that these forces have been erupting, collapsing and growing, billions of years before us, and will do so for billions of years to come. We are merely its temporary guardians, and it will endure, even if we do not.