C R U S H E D  B L U E S T O N E
A RETIREMENT (2013)
Alexis Oltmer


As a society we have become blind to the products we purchase. The notion of  the “raw material” has become strikingly removed from the reality of the “finished product”. Commodification is gripping in our current society; the accepted belief that products seemingly appear on shelves for our purchase with no paid attention to origin is dire. Due to lack of general questioning of origins, I chose to showcase the “final product” Crushed Bluestone as the regionally quintessential candidate from The Home Depot as an installed then retired “raw material” to repurpose it to its original from to the best of my ability.

Crushed Bluestone has been mined for the past 200 years in the South-Central of New York State, being shipped across the United States and Canada as it is exclusive to our region. Bluestone was deposited here during the Devonian Period 345-370 million years ago, as a part of the Catskill Delta which placed mineral grains and rocky deposits into an ancient sea which covered the majority of present day New York. Bluestone is currently mined in quarries, and can be found 3-20 feet underground with an environmental rate of waste to actual product of around 10:1. The mineral composition makes Bluestone very durable, resistant to wear, temperature flux, and pressure. These natural aspects of Bluestone have been transformed into highly coveted human desires of decoration, landscaping, and architectural materials.

It is of utmost importance that we question the products we purchase. This is call to an end to blind consumption, and a beginning towards the deconstruction of The Spectacle through self researching methodologies as well as the general questioning of the everyday.