On the frontier of fossil unreason

Alexander Klose at the University of Possibilities in Lützerath

brown coal open pit mining in Germany? In 2022? Are you serious?!

Lützerath is a village in the western Rhineland that had to make place for one of Germany’s most contested fossil fuel projects. Since the 1980’s citizens, politicians and NGOs like BUND have been fighting against the plans of North Rhine-Westfalia’s energy giant RWE to double the size of a hundred year old brown coal mine in order to take out a couple of hundred million tons of brown coal. Dozens of law suits, government changes, parliament hearings, demonstrations, climate agreements, climate catastrophes (the Erft valley area that was so heavily flooded in the summer of 2021 is right around the corner), occupations and evictions later, the situation has still not been settled.

A temporary stop has been put to the enlargement plans, but not all of the territory and the villages on it, destined to be destroyed according to the initial plans of RWE and the then social-democratic government of North Rhine-Westfalia are secured. Despite the political decision to completely end the use of coal as energy source in Germany until 2038, or even 2030. In 2015, Ende Gelände startet its direct actions of civil disobedience against coal extraction and combustion with blockades in the Garzweiler mines. Human ecologist and climate activist Andreas Malm mentions them a couple of times in his book How to blow up a pipeline, a plea for direct militant actions like blockades and sabotage to flank the peaceful mass protests of Fridays for Future and the like in order to enhance their assertiveness.

location of the University of possibilities at the brim of the coal mine as part of the Unräumbar-festival Sept 22

Lützerath has become a hotspot for the struggle when one of its old citizens refused to sell his house and stayed while RWE started to demolish houses and tear out streets and infrastructure around in January 2021, inviting activists to stay with him. In Sept 2022 this last man standing left after having finally lost his law trials against eviction in March. Since then the camp has been officially turned into an illegal squat, and the squatters have proclaimed the ZAD Rheinland in Lützerath, following the example of the militant Zone à défendre (zone to be defended) in France, The Netherlands, and Switzerland.

I had been invited to talk about our work with Beauty of Oil in the framework of a “University of possibilities”, a series of workshops, presentations and experimental discourse formats intended to accompany and maybe even ground activism with philosophical and speculative thought. “Philosophy can also be direct action,” as Lee, one of the initiators who had invited me, told me in the evening when she toured me around camp after my talk.

Here’s the abstract of my talk:

Just What is It That Makes Today’s Lifes So Different, so Appealing? – on the tenacity of petromodern claims and ways.

Presentation and discussion by/with Alexander Klose 

(Research collective Beauty of Oil, Berlin/Vienna; Office for precarious concepts and undisciplinary research, Berlin)

Richard Hamilton, Just What is It That Makes Today’s Homes So Different, so Appealing?, 1956

Living in the plastic world / Living in the plastic world / Plastics, plastics everywhere / Where I walk and stand / PVC, PVC everywhere.

This is how A+P, an early German Punkband, put it in 1980.  

Artificial matter, artificial fertilizer / Artificial grass / Artificial life / False teeth, false eyelashes / False love / All false here.

We have been living in petromodernity—the era of petrochemically based fuels and materials saturating all regions of life—for more than 100 years. Plastics is the new prima materia of this age, embodiment and incarnation of a second nature. For more than 50 years, people around the globe, but especially in the north-western heartlands of the petromodern civilization process have gotten increasingly aware that some things are fundamentally wrong with this time and its ruling principles. Starting in the late 1960s, the emissions of factories and cars transmuted from a sign of progress into one of imminent dangers, and plastics from the most modern material and guarantor of luxury for all into a cypher for everything that was a lie in the modern promises. 

Yet, the dynamics of petromodern and—in a larger picture—fossil economics, claims, life styles, and belief systems haven’t been decelerated. Quite the opposite: the Great Acceleration has been continuing more or less full force, with the amount of consumer goods, cars, transport, energy use, plastification, extraction, and toxic emissions increasing globally against all objections or better knowledge. 

Why is that so? And how can it be overcome?

The research collective Beauty of Oil works on understanding these petromodern dynamics in their tenaciousness. My talk introduces our projects, core theorems and approaches, and discusses possible future perspectives between technological fixes, ecological socio-economic reform and radical revolution.

©Photo taken from RWE-website. All other images by Alex Close

Data is the new Oil? – on the complex relations between fossil and digital modernity.

Presentation by Alexander Klose at Petrocultures 2022 conference in Stavanger.

“Data is the new oil infographic” ©Nigel Holmes 2012 / from The Human Face of Big Data

The talk tracks the relationship between the „digital age“ and petromodernity. As much as data is called the new oil today, oil has been the new data from the 1950s onwards. There may even be a homology of how these technologies tackle with and bring forward new realities, if you compare cracking–as the core petrochemical operation in which the molecules of hydrocarbon substances are torn apart and their atoms are recombined in new molecular compounds–with the way digital computers symbolize and re-organize material realities. Today, the worlds of social media and gaming are mostly keeping the petromodern promises for individual empowerment and entertainment. Fossil capitalism’s logic of extractivism has been extended both to new raw materials that are needed for the lightweight technology and to the consumers whose behavioral traces have become the “new oil”. What are the chances, what are the dangers of a media and energy transition „beyond oil“ that prolongates petromodernity?

IT and industrial technology have never been separated as the story of a new digital age seems to imply. Quite the opposite, the oil industry has been one of the most important drivers of digital technology development from early on, namely for oil exploration.

The mining and development of “tough oil” reservoirs would not have been possible without computers. As much as data is called the new oil today, oil has been the new data from the 1950s onwards. 

Action in the digital sphere happens in „the cloud“ – a metaphor that evokes lightweight molecules and accumulations in thin air. As we all know, the truth looks distinctly different: the global digital technosphere is made of millions of kilometers of cables and megatons of concrete, plastics, steel and silicium.

If the internet were a country, it would range third in electricity consumption after the U.S. and China. (Research Group Digitization and Social-Ecological Transformation, Berlin 2019.)

Even if the new very large data centers run on renewable energy, the carbon footprint of digital technology as a whole has become frighteningly significant. 

While the use of these devices differs considerably, the material and technological resources that contribute to their “functionality” have a shared substrate in plastic and copper, solvents and silicon. Electronics typically are composed of more than 1000 different materials, components that form part of a materials program that is far-reaching and spans from microchip to electronic systems. (…) to produce a two-gram memory microchip, 1.3 kilograms of fossil fuels and materials are required.

(Jennifer Gabrys, Digital Rubbish. A Natural History of Electronics, Ann Arbor 2011)

Diagrammatic representation of Cracking process from petrochemistry textbook.

Cracking paradigm
The operational approach of informatics—to convey and calculate everything through discrete symbols —equals the operational approach of industrial chemistry—to rip complex materials in their smallest parts, molecules and atoms, and to recombine and optimize them.

Elements become isolated, analyzed, synthesized, and enter into circulation as deterritorialized bits of information that can be traded in complex, global ways. From soil to minerals to chemicals, their scientific framing and engineering is also a prelude to their status as commodities. (…) The periodic table is one of the most important reference points in the history of technological capitalism. The insides of computers are folded with their outsides in material ways; the abstract topologies of information are entwined with geophysical realities.

(Jussi Parikka, A Geology of Media, Minneapolis 2015)

Digital Culture keeps unfullfilled petromodern promises

Understood in this expanded sense, extraction involves not only the appropriation and expropriation of natural resources but also, and in ever more pronounced ways, processes that cut through patterns of human cooperation and social activity. The prospecting logics (…) in the case of literal extraction take on peculiar characteristics here – since they refer precisely to forms of human cooperation and social activity.

(Sandro Mezzadra/Brett Neilson, »On the multiple frontiers of extraction: excavating contemporary capitalism«, Cultural Studies 2-3, 2017)

Beauty of Oil@Petrocultures 2022: Transformations

24. – 27. August 2022, Stavanger

Cruise Ship, Oil Museum, and Dinosaur in the Center of Stavanger. ©Alex Close

We live in turbulent times, and the role of petroleum is at the heart of global and local political debate about how we should rebuild after COVID-19 and address our worsening crises of climate and international stability. A transition to a world without oil as its primary source of fuel and energy is vital if we are to reach the climate targets set by the Paris Agreement, but the pathway, feasibility, and timing of such an unprecedented transition is still hotly debated. We know that oil will come to an end, but whether its closing date is set by emptied reservoirs, greener alternatives, or political decisions, is still to be determined. Recognizing that the “age of oil” is being challenged, petrocultures2022 invites scholars and artists, journalists and activists, politicians and business actors to engage critically in the debate and the transition to alternatives. The conference will be held at the Norwegian Petroleum Museum and a nearby conference venue in Stavanger, the energy capital of Norway.

description from Petrocultures-website

We spent 4 days and nights at the first physical meeting of the international Petrocultures researcher crowd since Glasgow 2018. It took place in the conference rooms of the Oljemuseum and on a historical ship, the MS Sandness, which used to commute between Bergen and Stavanger. About 300 people attended the conference. The program was packed, and often the conference rooms – among them the lovely breakfast room and second class salon on the boat – were so, too. Keynote speeches were given on thursday, friday and saturday morning at Stavangeren, a former church assembly room in the old city of Stavanger.

Find the full conference programm here.

Below is an impresssionistic collection of images from the town and the conference.

Natur und Propaganda

Lukas Bärfuss im Gespräch mit Alexander Klose, dazu Lesung von Sandra Hüller. 21.8.2023, Maschinenhaus Essen.

© Alexander Klose, Christian Hüller, Lea Meienberg

Natur ist möglicherweise schon immer ein propagandistischer Begriff, durch den die Sphäre des Menschen und der Mensch selbst ideologisch von allem nicht-Menschlichen abgesetzt und überhöht werden sollte. Mit dem neu erstarkten ökologischen Bewusstsein im Zeichen der Anthropozän-These stürzt die Behauptung der kategorischen Trennung zwischen Mensch und Natur bzw. Kultur und Natur in sich selbst zusammen. In der späten Petromoderne sind die Umwelten eines großen Teils der Menschen als “zweite Natur” ausgestaltet. Jedoch nichts, nicht einmal Beton, Plastik, Virtual Reality oder Raketentechnik, konnte jemals ganz den Boden des gegebenen Sets an Stoffen, chemischen Prozessen und physikalischen Gesetzmäßigkeiten verlassen. Wenn wir heute also nach Natur fragen, zielen wir entweder auf Dynamiken und Stofflichkeiten, die trotz der konstitutiven Trennungsbehauptung nie aufhörten, in der menschengemachten Sphäre wirksam zu sein. Oder wir adressieren die Akte der diskursiven Setzungen selbst: Was gilt wo und zu welchem Zweck als ‘Natur’?

Das “Natur und Propaganda” überschriebene Gespräch zwischen Lukas Bärfuss und Alexander Klose dreht sich um Aspekte der (petro)modernen Ausstaffierung und Durchdringung der Welt, der modernen industriellen Gesellschaften und Menschen: Stoffe und ihre Dynamiken, wie Kunstdünger oder Zement, Heilsversprechen von Technik und Politik, Sucht, Propaganda und Gegenpropaganda als Kampf um die “Wahrheit der Natur”.

Sonntag, 21.8.22, 17:00, Maschinenhaus Essen, im Rahmen der Ruhrtriennale 2022.

Die offizielle Ankündigung der von Georg Büchner-Preisträger Lukas Bärfuss konzipierten und geführten Reihe “Die Natur des Menschen” im Programm der Ruhrtriennale findet sich hier.

Das Gespräch wurde für WDR 3 Forum aufgezeichnet und ist bis 23.9.2023 unter diesem Link abrufbar.

Enter the Plastocene

Presentation by Alexander Klose at the transdisciplinary festival and symposium Wasteland, July 8, The Grey Space in the Middle, The Hague.

»The chemical industry knows no waste«, claims an industry propaganda film from the GDR in 1968. Today, the whole Earth seems to have been turned into a planetary plastic waste heap. Thus, the statement sounds weird. Nevertheless, it carries some reasonability in a country and economy relying on stewardship of its scarce resources. Doesn’t that also sound familiar? A good twenty years earlier, a US propaganda film for its war-boosted chemical industry preparing to become civic again had announced that the depicted “world of the molecule belongs to us all. It is yours to explore, your new frontier.” 

GDR propaganda poster for the anti-fascist socialist chemical industry, 1960

The plastic turn had a utopian potential that actualized in different political ideologies. From a certain historical point, to be modern meant to be living in plasticized environments. But the problem with plastics, one may assume, was not caused mainly by its “supernatural” materiality, but by the social and economical organization of its distribution. Consumerism was the civil religion of the American century. Also the socialist regimes gave in to it as a means of manifesting freedom and prosperity in a modern society. That may have been one major nail in their coffin, as a communist idealist might argue. It certainly was another milestone in the advent of the plastocene.

The talk traces the course from plastic crazes in West and East to today’s global plastic waste crises and further to queer and square plastic futures.

The talk takes place on the first day of the three-day-symposium Wast3D-Care, on friday july 8, at 5:30 pm. Festival and symposium Wasteland are conceptualized and organized by Yannik Güldner & Leon Lapa Pereira.

time: 
July 8, 5:30 pm

location: 
The Grey Space in the Middle 
Paviljoensgracht 20
2512 BP, The Hague
The Netherlands

Extraction—Production—Destruction. On the Contradictory Productivity of Oily Images

Essay by Alexander Klose, published in Resolution Magazine #1 (2021), ‘Hot Pictures’

Thinking about the roles images play in the production of knowledge around anthropogenic damage to ecosystems, one stumbles into a meshwork of contradictory relations. Principally, it is possible to distinguish between two different categories of images: those about situations of extraction/destruction (with images of disasters being the most popular) and those brought forward or made by the situations themselves. The latter is a relatively new (or newly recognized) type of images that Susan Schuppli refers to as ‘dirty pictures’, a way in which “anthropogenic environments are documenting their own damaged condition.” Both types of images share a problematic condition: as they formulate a critique of extraction, destruction, and pollution, they are also a part of or the result of the circumstances they depict. In the following text I will concentrate on image-making related to the extraction and uses of oil (and the products it is used to produce) as being probably the most important and momentous of all anthropogenic substances shaping the contemporary condition of the earth. I will track some of these contradictory constellations and try to elaborate an understanding of the dialectical yet calamitous dynamics associated with producing these images.


Download full article as pdf here

Oily Houston

a visit to the Wiess Energy Hall at the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS)

Downtown Houston from the innermost of the five highway belts.
All images and videos in this post by alexclose.

Visiting the ‘Petro Metro’ on invitation by Popup Goethe’s director Grant Aymond, I get the chance to meet Daniel Minisini in person. He is a geologist working for Shell, and in his spare time he hosts an interview series at the local free radio station KPFT Houston directed mainly at the geologists and oil engineers working in Houston. [But via his Youtube Channel also to critical petromodernity researcher all over the world.] In the beginning of 2021 he had interviewed Benjamin and me via zoom.

link to full interview

link to background information on minigeology on Rice University Website

When Daniel heard of my planned trip to Houston, he suggested a couple of places that I should definitely visit, among them the Wiess Energy Hall at the HMNS. The department, which has been completely remade for the bargain price of 42 Mio US$ and reopened in 2018, is dedicated to the physical aspects of a phenomenon that carries metaphysical proportions: energy, and its live-creating, live-sustaining powers.

In Houston, the world capital of oil, this comes down to a narrative almost thoroughly dedicated to the geological, technological, and—to some extent—social aspects of the exploration, production, refinement and consumption of petroleum.

The line-up of sponsors is a who-is-who of the oil business:

One can go down into the depths of the earth inside an enlarged, space capsule-like drillhead until striking oil. It feels like inside a shaky elevator with an overdimensional floor display:

Almost the same scenario is offered a second time, this time we travel horizontally over the land near Houston, than underneath it, in a spaceship-like fracking device:

Mentions of the problematic aspects of tough, unvonventional oil, about the damages done and the civil protests? None. The exhibition is a celebration of the achievements and perspectives of the “unconventional revolution” (as Daniel told me, the technologies of fracking and the like are referred to within the industry).

Oh, wait a second, here’s a critical passage dedicated to the possibility that it might be necessary in the future to step away from fossils towards other fuels:

Remarkable, though, that the striking argument is purely financial. 

A whole panorama in the best tradition of the “Futurama” commissioned by General Motors for the 1939 World’s Fair “The World of Tomorrow” in New York City is dedicated to future energy city (supported by Chevron). But it was closed for maintenance, I could only take a glimpse from the side.

It’s not hard to find professional coverage of this feat on the internet, though, for instance here, on the Museum’s Website.

After a lunch presentation of our work with Beauty of Oil I gave the next day at the architecture faculty hall of Rice University, a distinguished professor and member of the RDA (Rice Design Alliance) asked me, what i would answer to the critique that we have just changed the pictures within but not the museum itself with our OIL-exhibition at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg. Given, that I had not seen a hint of a critical reflection of the oil legacy in all the impressing, shiny, and flashy museum landscape of Houston (with absolutely fantastic ensembles as the Cy Twombly Gallery in the Menil Collection and other top rate shows and collections dedicated mainly to classic modernity—meaning, the heydays of petromodernity), and also given, that I did get no answer whatsoever to my questions for an official critical discourse on petromodernity in the artworld or elsewhere from my academic audience at Rice, this fundamental critique seemed to be rather odd.

Precognitioning Post-Oil NYC – second iteration

What might it feel like to live in New York City after fossil fuels?

One year later as planned and only with the help of an NIE (National Interest Exception) they are finally happening with Alexander Klose physically in New York City, and together with New York-based speculative designer Chris Woebken: three successive precognitioning sessions taking place on Oct 28/29/30 at tenfourteen. space for ideas, 1014 5th Avenue, New York, NY!

Collage by Adeline Chum, Jules Kleitman, Aditi Mangesh Shetye, 2021

The fossil energy regime of coal, oil and gas has to and will end eventually, coal rolling and the renewed celebration of excessive fossil fuel consumption having been merely petromelancholic rebound effects… This is the backdrop for our ongoing research project on the histories and afterlives of petromodernity. How do we want to live in a post-fossil future? How and with whom will we develop new kinships after the social bonds connected to the resource economy and the exuberant promises of our ‘Western Way of Life’ are untied? Will we actively delve into a world of living materials and microbiological entanglements? Will we get beyond racism and patriarchy? Will we cease to privately own land? 

Join us at one of three successive precognitioning sessions at 1014! Play out visions of urban renewal, societal reformation, and a post-extractivist approach towards natures and societies after the possible endings of fossil energy regimes. 

Collage by Tashania Akemah , 2021

Through narrative techniques and design futures methods a series of bespoke design interventions and immersive installations transform 1014 into a hyper-reality testing environment. Using guided speculative role play and co-created moments of immersion, participants are encouraged to experiment with new values and beliefs that might emerge in a post-petro world. The scenarios and installations have been developed in collaboration with an architecture course at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, led by participatory futures practitioner Chris Woebken in partnership with cultural researcher Alexander Klose. 

The idea of precognition: Being neither driven by big corporations nor by governments, the precognition process takes up the project of working with and on futures in an explicitly non-technocratic, experimental way. It avoids statistics-based “scientific” methodologies. Instead, it relies on collectively crafted visions and material-based artifacts and embodied roleplay. An archeology of the fossil presence: surveying infrastructures, collecting images and narratives that at the same time manifest all kinds of afterlives and hint to possible escape routes. 

You’re invited to join us as a participant on one of the evenings Oct 28, Oct 29, Oct 30. In two groups of max 15 people, visitors will walk through the installations and the precognitioning process accompanied by Alexander Klose and Chris Woebken and different ‘lead speculators’ from varying fields of practice and knowledge for each evening. We will explore and respond to new precognitioned values, myths, and cultural imaginations that might emerge while being shaped by the afterlives of petro-modernity.

Thursday 10/28, 6:30 – 9 pm with lead speculators Dan Taeyoung and Dr. Elizabeth Hénaff

Friday 10/29, 6:30 – 9 pm with lead speculators Aristilde Kirby and Frank Morales

Saturday 10/30, 6:30 – 9 pm with lead speculators Ayodamola Okunseinde and Ben Holbrook

For more information on the lead speculators scroll down.

Precognitioning Post-Oil is realized in cooperation with GSAPP Columbia University

https://www.arch.columbia.edu

and Goethe-Insitute New York,

https://www.goethe.de/ins/us/en/sta/ney.html

and commissioned by tenfourteen, space for ideas.

https://www.1014.nyc

————————————————————————————————————-

Biographies:

Dr. Elizabeth Henaff

Computational Biologist and Artist

Dr. Elizabeth Hénaff is a computational biologist with an art practice. Her academic trajectory started with a Bachelors in Computer Science, followed by a Master’s in Plant Biology (both from UT Austin) and a PhD in Bioinformatics from the University of Barcelona. At the center of her work is a fascination with the way living beings interact with their environment. This inquiry has produced a body of work that ranges from scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, to projects with landscape architects, to working as an artist in environments from SVA to the MIT Media Lab. She has made contributions to understanding how plants respond to the force of gravity, how genome structure changes in response to stress, and most recently has turned her attention to the ubiquitous and invisible microbial component of our environment. She currently holds an Assistant Professor position in the Technology, Culture and Society department at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering in New York City.

http://idm.engineering.nyu.edu/henafflab/

Ben Holbrook

Playwright and filmmaker

Ben Holbrook is a Brooklyn-based (originally from NC) playwright and filmmaker whose works have been produced, developed, or commissioned by: Fundamental Theater Project, Ruddy Productions, The New York International Fringe Festival, The Memphis Fringe Festival, The Motor Company, Voices of the South (TN), Ugly Rhino(LA), Seoul Players (SK), Holiday House, Find the Light (LA), The Irish Arts Council, 45th Street Block Association, and Paper Lantern Theatre Company (NC). His films have been seen at the Big Apple Film Festival, The Imaginarium Convention, The Comedy of Horrors Festival, The Sickest Short Films Festival, and The Films Open Mic Festival. He’s been awarded the Edward Albee Foundation fellowship, the Drama League Rough Draft Residency (partnering with Sam Underwood), Fresh Ground Pepper’s Playground Playgroup Residency, The New Concepts Theatre Lab at UNC-Greensboro, Magic Time at Judson Church, and is the inaugural recipient of the Peter Shaffer Award for Excellence in Playwriting. Ben is also the co-owner of Full Metal Workshop.

Aristilde Kirby

Poet

Aristilde Kirby (she/they, b. 1991) is a poet, like the play of the ripples on the water. Daisy & Catherine², her latest chapbook, is out in November via Auric Press. Past works include Daisy & Catherine (Belladonna, 2017) & Sonnet Infinitesimal / Material Girl (Black Warrior Review & Best American Experimental Writing 2020). She has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing from Bard College. You can just call her Aris, like Paris without the P. 

Frank Morales

Episcopal Priest, Writer and Housing Activist

Frank Morales is a legendary New York City housing activist, a radical Episcopalian priest who has been squatting in the South Bronx and on the Lower East Side since 1978. Morales was the housing organizer for Picture the Homeless, a homeless-led grassroots group that developed a multipronged program of direct action to secure housing for homeless people, alongside groups like Miami’s Take Back the Land.

Morales currently co-leads Organizing for Occupation, a group of New York City residents from the activist, academic, religious, homeless, arts, and progressive legal communities who have come together to respond to the housing crisis. The group believes that safe and affordable housing is a human right and that, given the failure of government and the private sector to address the crisis, it is up to those who are most directly affected by it to secure that right through nonviolent direct action. The group intends to create housing through the occupation of vacant spaces and to protect people’s right to remain in existing housing through community-based anti-eviction campaigns.

Ayodamola Okunseinde

Nigerian-American Artist, Designer, Anthropologist and Time-traveler

Okunseinde studied Visual Arts and Philosophy at Rutgers University where he earned his B.A. His works range from painting and speculative design to physically interactive works, wearable technology, and explorations of “Reclamation”. He was nominated for the 2021 inaugural Knight Art + Tech Fellowship and is a 2021 fellow of the Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography & Social Thought. His works exist between physical and digital spaces; across the past, present and future. Okunseinde’s works ask us, via a technological lens, to reimagine notions of race, identity, politics, and culture as we travel through time and space. He holds an M.F.A. in Design and Technology and an M.A. in Anthropology from The New School. He is currently a Ph.D. student in Anthropology at The New School for Social Research and serves as an Assistant Professor of Interaction and Media Design at Parsons School of Design.

http://www.ayo.io/

Dan Taeyoung 

Designer, Architect, Teacher, Learner

Dan Taeyoung is a learner, facilitator, spatial designer, and technologist. His practice involves around collaborating to create architectural spaces and social collectives that embody how we might want to live together, as well as researching design and social tools that change the way we work together. He teaches at Columbia University GSAPP and NYU IDM; is a founding member of Soft Surplus, a co-founder of Prime Produce, a guild for social good, the NYC REIC, an real estate investment cooperative working towards anti-displacement and community land ownership.

https://dantaeyoung.com/

Installations by: 

Tashania Akemah, Adeline Chum, Ethan Davis, Jules Kleitman, Yingjie Liu, Brianna Love, Gloria Mah, Camille Newton, Aditi Mangesh Shetye, Kaeli Streeter, Carmen Yu

Film by:  

Christoph Girardet 

»Oil. Schönheit und Schrecken des Erdölzeitalters« – Ausstellungseröffnung am 3.9.2021 mit regem Medieninteresse

Eröffnungsrede, Foto Laurina Preckel

Mit 150, pandemiepolitikbedingt in der Teilnehmerzahl beschränkten und im Vorfeld registrierten Gästen eröffnete am Freitag, 3.9.2021, um 19:00 Uhr endlich unsere große Erdölausstellung, auf die wir seit 2016 hingearbeitet haben. Anwesend waren Bürgermeister und andere Würdenträger aus Wolfsburg und der Region, aber auch viele Freunde und Freundinnen aus Berlin, Wien, und anderswo. Die Reaktionen sowohl auf unsere Einführungsrede als auch auf die Ausstellung waren freundlich bis begeistert. Nachdem wir schon am Abend zuvor mit den eigens für unsere Ausstellung angereisten Künstler_innen Gunhild Vatn, Wes Bell und Joep van Lieshout bis in den späten Abend im Foyer des Museums geredet und gezecht hatten, setzten wir dies am Eröffnungsabend entschlossen dortselbst und im abgebildeten Eingangsbereich zwischen den heute obligatorischen Urban Gardening-Paletten fort. Es war schön.

Bereits am Donnerstag zur Pressekonferenz hatte sich ein großes Interesse und hoffentlich entsprechend großes Medienecho angekündigt. Fernsehteams von NDR, 3Sat und ZDF Heutejournal waren da, ebenso Radioleute und Vertreter_innnen diverser regionaler und überregionaler Zeitungen. Hier folgt eine Auflistung aller bislang erschienenen und gesendeten Beiträge (von denen wir etwas mitbekommen haben):

Presseberichte

Print und Online: Wolfsburger Allgemeine Zeitung, 2.9.2021, Deshalb riecht’s nach Öl im Kunstmuseum

Print und Online: Braunschweiger Zeitung, 2.9.2021, Erdöldämmerung in Wolfsburg

Audio: Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Fazit, 3.9.2021, Beitrag von Simone Reber und Interview mit Benjamin Steininger

Video: NDRkultur, 3.9.2021, Schau in Wolfsburg beleuchtet Fluch und Segen von Erdöl

Online: Deutsche Welle, 4.9.2021, Nicht ideologisch: Schau blickt auf das Erdölzeitalter

Video: ZDF und 3sat, Kulturzeit, 6.9.2021, OIL. Schönheit und Schrecken des Erdölzeitalters

Print und Online: FAZ, 8.9.2021, Stählerner Fingerzeig nach oben

Video: heute Journal, 13.9.2021, Schönheit und Schrecken des Erdölzeitalters

Print und Online: taz nord, 21.9.2021, Unsichtbar und allgegenwärtig

Print und Online: Süddeutsche Zeitung, 16.10.2021, Wie geschmiert

Print: ART magazin 11/2021, Schwarzes Gold

Online: H/SOZ/KULT, 13.11.2021, OIL. Schönheit und Schrecken des Erdölzeitalters

Print: Artline 11/21, Spektakulärer Abgesang

Kunstbulletin 12/2021, Öl – Schönheit und Schrecken