Underground Adventure


Hydroplutonic Kernow aimed to look below the superficial layer of the rugged and beautiful natural landscape that represents Cornwall to most tourists, and to ask how we can understand the production of that landscape as the result of artificial processes of industrial extraction.

The Engine House has now become a picturesque and marketable emblem of Cornwall, and we rarely think about the fact that it is a relic of Cornwall’s implication in a radical and violent process of industrialisation, a century-long intensification of extraction technologies. In the popular imagination the engine house has become merged with the natural landscape. In a sense this is appropriate, but a materialist approach is necessary to appreciate in quite what sense it is appropriate—i.e., not purely aesthetically.…