Permian Basin: NM plus TX, major amount of oil
drawings to trouble her own bias; drove around West Texas January 2011
deep connection to oil
dark polemical apocalypse of sketches needed to be discarded
in order to connect; to be honest about intentions and be open to what you would find
friendliness; metta; Pali; maitri = benevolence, good will, active interest in others
metta meditation: may all beings be protected from harm, be happy, be healthy, be free from suffering
we think we’ve lost a time of enchantment
but is affective force of enchantment >> modern world; cultivate generosity?
“a comportment that can be fostered through deliberate strategies”
(Bennett, The Enchantment of Modern Life”)
to be struck
one must be enamored with existence
Latour ANT--objects are part of social networks, endure translations
nonmodern world not culture versus nature
is this a nonessentialist animism?
beyond anthropomorphism: human as weaver of morphisms (Latour)
not making the world in our own image
passive and vibrant binary; places below threshold active power; “lively streams of chemicals” << landfill
Stanislavski; “what if” “What if were in the same situation as my character?”
to imagine a nonhuman umwelt; what does nonhuman sense? what does it want?
is a gross change of relations desirable and possible?
how can enchantment help?
Zurkow found the sinkhole using Google Satellite
steadily growing since it opened in 2002
not that exceptional but anthropogenic; flushing too much water << oil drilling
“ecological collateral damage”
geological force of humans; small eg
Earl Williams; local naturalist; “all nature abhors a vacuum”
Veronique Rossier; software that treats all the elements as actors including the water, clouds, rocks
then times of day and year <> probability >> animation
one minute of screen time = one hour of our time
Jack Collum “Nature is slow, people get bored”
nature is incredibly boring when you’re in it!
hazmat workers << YouTube like choreography
rotoscoping; tracing over video
map of what is below the big empty
what does a drill bit see?
modern visualization tools are rather lifeless and flat
looking at infinitely receding rock strata
deep time -- earth having a history
the liquidity of rock
loop (nb nb!)
PMA, PVC, PS, PU, PIB [rubber], HDPE, LDPE
nurdles; tiny plastic resin beads, precursors of things
mimicking plankton; consumed
microplastics outnumber zooplankton 6 to 1
persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
nurdle eating turtles; bottle eating babies
plasticity of petrochemicals >> Jesus candles and water bottles
>> Petroleum Manga
vertigo; endless amounts of things <> manga
strange notion: hydrocarbons want to become
by becoming plastic hydrocarbons can live forever
printed with solvent ink on Tyvek, made from HDPE (thermoplastic)
plastic regrind: objects ground back down into pellets
book on petroleum manga coming out soon!
“we expect art to be shocking and extreme; critical design needs to be closer to the everyday”
“if it is regarded as art it is easier to deal with; but if it remains as design it’s more disturbing”
so why not put design directly in your mouth?
Mark Dion “we live, breathe and eat our field of investigation”
food doesn’t shout I am an art project
>> Outside the Work
BU sustainability exhibit
hydrocarbon formation <> kitchen techniques
Berg iceberg water: they will go to waste anyway (!) is their argument
honey plus maraschino cherry dye (processed in bees); taste like twizzlers
“it was amazing, and awful”
trained hydrocarbon assessors! examining hang tags on clothes etc
to ascertain total amount of personal plastic
leave with inventory and jar of plastic containing the weight of what they came with
people love strange rituals in which they quantify themselves
performance art or DIY science or sloppy green nonprofit
SUM QUOD ERIS; QUOD ES, IPSE FUI (Petrus Alfonsus) [haha, the name]
to ask with imagination and bodies what we want of them and what they want of us (Bennett)
Marina Zurkow makes a list of directives:
put the questions in your body
Get it all over you, make it personal and intimate
don’t scale up, possibly make it replicable
ruffle it, trouble it
invite questions, rifts, holes and escapes
use wonder as a gateway to complex relations
use complex relations as a way to induce wonder
make time do funny things
Q: How did you get in to the community?
A: I was very truthful at Wink, and we had meetings where we laid guns down at the door as it were. I sent everyone links to the work. I hooked up with a secret eminent domain activist. She was very paranoid. I was suspect no matter who it was, right or left! I’m very clearly an invasive species when I do these projects.
A: My work is all online and so for me to explain my work seems banal. I want to extend my intentions. I get a lot of responses along the lines of “you leave so much to interpretation” as if that’s a bad thing. There is a need for a solution like agitprop or propaganda, which I’m totally not for in my practice. What the value proposition is in even engaging with enchantment. Can art really contribute to paradigm shifts? I don’t really have answers.
A: Haunting tends to have more negative connotations. There is a lot of value in haunting. Emptying your bag into a bin. Eating and encountering petrochemicals. I was haunted by accumulating all my plastics in my living room. Enchantment tends to be lulling. Bennett issue. A lot of my work was positioned after a crisis in the past; there was a calm to it. People criticized me for creating too much around these issues. I don’t feel fully articulated about it.
A: I follow threads. They are not really linear. 2006 was a watershed. I have a studio in Brooklyn, sub-garden level. My studio started flooding from excessive rain. I had to swab the studio. It was so vivid; the water ended up under my computer chair. I then received hurricane evacuation maps. Inconvenient Truth came out. You can’t hide anymore. The petroleum thing was a whim. I can’t believe I’m still working on it--it won’t let me go! Talking with DiverseWorks about making a mesocosm in West Texas...I’d have to think more about the 70s connection.
A: I don’t think it bridges. I think of it as another kind of time functioning. Is it even or uneven?
Q: I don’t know.
A: I refuse to deal with machines. Bogost on cameras--I lose interest! I privilege living in a way! It’s almost like a blind spot.