Metamorphic, Issue 1: Everywhere and Anywhere
This is the first issue of Metamorphic: The Transformation of Work in Granite Town, a serial, hybrid book project.
Issue No.1: "Everywhere and Anywhere"
In this debut issue, the story of deindustrialization and capitalism is told through personal reflection and observation, pouring over the pieces to find the forces that have transformed everything and anything around us, including Central Vermont, where I currently live. Focusing on Barre, Vermont, where industry once thrived, I begin to trace the forces of political economy that have been buried by history and the media.
"In school, I was taught that we are on a one-way journey called progress. The strained optimism of my parents tried to validate this claim. When I found my mom crying late one night after she finished her shift at Burger King, the only job she could find at the time when our family desperately needed the extra money, the idea of progress became a prevarication that sank into the pit of my stomach..."
Metamorphic: The Transformation of Work in Granite Town
Much of their work was about preparing for the inevitable, and there was plenty of it. After all, everyone dies, and everyone wants to be remembered, and the quiet little farming town of Barre, VT sat right on top of valuable rock that promised to bear the task of immortality. Granite of exquisite quality augured not only exceptional memorials but exceptional lives for generations to come -- free from the privations of the homelands they left behind on the other side of the ocean. But even this tough town of granite gave way to the pressures of capital accumulation. Some call it deindustrialization. It feels like death. We depend on work in order to live, and, what is more, to give our lives meaning. In actuality, deindustrialization signals that something is changing -- and that something is work.
Automation, the engine of deindustrialization, sets off a dialectical process: while it throws people out of work, it also has the potential to transform our relation to work; to liberate us from drudgery to pursue to the development of our own talents and capacities. But we can only begin to arrive at this utopian outcome if we understand the system behind this process and allow ourselves to feel the impact -- the breaks, collisions, pressures, and weight -- it has on our lives, past and present. What can this small town that deindustrialized much before the term came into public consciousness reveal about this process and how it affects they way we work and live?
Metamorphic marks a change -- of the economy and our lives -- through original illustrations, collected interviews, and personal meditations at the intersection of geology, political economy, and psychology. Change is inevitable: how can we take control of these changes so we are not swept up in its violent quakes, eruptions, and fires?