Subcritical: Third Culture Field Notes


Martha Cary Eppes
Marek Ranis
José L. S. Gámez


Subcritical: Third Culture Field Notes explores an innovative, interdisciplinary collaboration between scientists and artists. Based on a project funded by the National Science Foundation that studies how climate change influences the breakdown of rocks and the cracking of mountains, Subcritical integrates the arts with scientific research to communicate findings. Subcritical brings together scholarly and theoretical essays as well as richly illustrated artwork and case studies of design investigations. This novel work represents the type of multidisciplinary synergies possible when artists and scientists collaborate with each other.

Volume edited by Martha Cary (Missy) Eppes, Marek Ranis, and José L. S. Gámez. Essays contributed by Martha Cary (Missy) Eppes, José L. S. Gámez, Ken Lambla, Brook Muller, Marek Ranis, Monica Rasmussen, and Melissa Riker.


Table of Contents:

  • Foreword: Tectonics of Research in Play by Brook Muller
  • Introduction by José L. S. Gámez
  • Cracking Up by Martha Cary (Missy) Eppes
  • Liminal Landscape by Marek Ranis
  • With Your Nose on the Rock, It’s All You Can See by Monica Rasmussen
  • First Steps: Capacity, or: the Work of Crackling by Melissa Riker
  • Geology for Artists, Art for Geologists by Ken Lambla


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Author Biographies

Martha Cary Eppes

Martha Cary (Missy) Eppes, PhD, is a professor of earth sciences at UNC Charlotte. Her research interests center on natural rock fracture, soils, and landscape evolution on Earth and other planetary bodies. Dr. Eppes is a fellow of the Geological Society of America (GSA) and a US Fulbright Research Scholar. She is a recipient of GSA’s Kirk Bryan award – their highest honor awarded for quaternary geology and geomorphology – and the American Geophysical Union Earth and Planetary Surface Processes group’s Marguerite T. Williams Award given for her “groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research linking rock fracture mechanics and surface processes.”

Marek Ranis

Marek Ranis, MFA, is a professor in the Department of Art and Art History at UNC Charlotte and a multimedia environmental artist. Through sculpture, installation, painting, photography, and video, Ranis explores social, political, and anthropological aspects of phenomena such as climate change. He is a recipient of numerous grants, fellowships, and residencies, including a UNESCO Aschberg Fellowship, American-Scandinavian Foundation Grant, and NC Artist Fellowship Award. Ranis has presented work in more than a hundred individual and group shows nationally and internationally. His work is included in private and public collections in North America and Europe.

José L. S. Gámez

José L. S. Gámez, PhD, is the interim dean of the College of Arts + Architecture at UNC Charlotte. He was previously the associate dean for research and graduate programs in the College of Arts + Architecture. He has served as the interim director of the School of Architecture, as the associate director of the school, as a provost faculty fellow, as well as a research fellow with both UNC Charlotte’s Institute for Social Capital and Urban Institute. His research explores questions of culture in architecture and urbanism through action-based research and public scholarship.

Subcritical: Third Culture Field Notes


February 7, 2024


Details about the available publication format: Paperback (for purchase)

Paperback (for purchase)

Physical Dimensions

7in x 10in