Scales

The works presented in the Extracting Us exhibition bring attention to the ties between the personal, the political and the ecological. The visitor’s focus is drawn simultaneously to hegemonic political economies underlying extractivism, to changed and changing landscapes, and to everyday experiences of extractivism, and resistance to extractivism. The exhibition contributions invite the viewer to consider the ways in which extractivism acts upon localised ecosystems and dynamic earth systems, upon individual and collective bodies, experiences and imaginaries, upon the organisation and composition of households, the cultural practices of communities, and the politics and economics of and between localities, regions, nations and globalised trade relations. The multiplicity of scales  present within and across the contributions reveals the ways in which scales are not necessarily dis-connected into hierarchical relations, how agency exists across multiple scales, and how extractivism is multifaceted in its pervasiveness.


Continue to explore connections with scales

Maica Gugolati, Floating Tropics, Home
Home. 2019 TT.

This photocollage is made by four images. It reflects some of the meanings of home where domestic space, nature and gas extraction occupy the space of the human being. This last one is left as a carrier of nationalism. Home in this image is made of presence and absence; the time frames of past, present and future are showed all together.

In Trinidad and Tobago, the industrial landscape is so pervasive in the daily visualscape that it is almost ignored by its inhabitants, though it shapes people’s daily lives. Similarly, the extractive presence is rendered invisible in the illustrations dedicated to tourism that privileges the natural “paradisiacal” sites and its festive cultural production.

This project, Floating Tropics, challenges this visual omission, showing the lands and waters of the country inhabited by its industries that cohabit and are camouflaged within the environment.

Explore Maica Gugolati’s work

Bidonmondes (Two)


Plastic canisters of 20L are omnipresent in the Sine-Saloum Delta, Senegal. They are mainly imported from Gambia as palm oil canisters and then reused and remodified in various ways. Thereby, the canisters represent, take part in and materially inherit a range of processes of extraction and dispossession in different world regions and relate various actors – human and more-than-human – to each other. And as tangible and quotidian, yet always malleable objects, they offer themselves to convey these processes and relations into the exhibitive realm.

Nowadays, peripheries and centres increasingly fragment, precarities intertwine and nature-culture divides collapse. Distinct but at the same time interdependent worlds in the sense that emergent assemblages constitute. Petrol- and palm oil production are major drivers of fragmentation and intertwinement as well as of environmental ruination. Following these viscous materials can guide our quest to inquire, critique and contest such processes and relate them to each other.

 This work reconfigures, enlarges and contrasts imagery and sound: on the one hand, the imagery and sound of uses and re-modifications of canisters in the Sine-Saloum Delta. On the other hand, the canisters’ inherited sound: Malaysian logging, palm oil cutting, palm oil industry advertisement, petrol industry advertisement for offshore drilling near the delta, motor boat use, and petrol production.

Explore Sandro Simon’s work

Dead Water by Participants & Marilene Ribeiro, Portrait of Geovan
Portrait of Geovan

“I see my portrait in the river… I belong there. Regarding the object you asked me to choose, I wish I could take the facade of my house… my place is under the waters of Belo Monte dam now.” October 21 2016
© Geovan Carvalho Martins e Marilene Ribeiro 2016

Explore Participants & Marilene Ribeiro’s work

TAPESTRY project, Koli fishers photovoice: Picture 12
On Extraction and Debilitating Livelihoods

A member of the Koli fishers’ association explains how the livelihood of paramparik (traditional artisanal) fishers of the surrounding areas is being threatened by the JNPT (the port).

Explore the TAPESTRY Collective’s work

Extraction II: Roads and Threads by Ruyu Lin. Details of Khandrup's knitting
Extraction II: Roads and Threads

This project looks at the carrier and often the inducer of extractivism. The mechanism that sustains unfair profiting activities relies on roads, and the roads also connects dreams emerged along the roads for better human lives, at the expenses of exploiting nature.

Extraction II: Roads and Threads tries to cool the discussion about extractivism from the powerful poignant and indignant tone, through feeling the connection of materials and ideas, to tune out words new for the expression. Especially in the time of pandemic, when we are bombarded by news about death, distress, and sorrows, almost every day. The mittens, neck-doughnut and place mat, made by highway road workers from the Eastern Himalayas, uses the imaginable warmth to carry the weight of extracting and marketing homeland, and the weathered environment.

Building the dialogue with the notion of extractivism as the short-sighted model that causes polarized inequality, I ask two bigger and harder question through the art work: what is the reasonable timeline for planning to use natural resources in the Himalayas, and what scale can be justified?

Explore Ruyu Lin’s work

Clay and community
The Anthropocene in Your Hands

Rather than drilling through the literal Anthropocene earth, what other possibilities are there for interacting with this land? Naturally occurring deposits of clay found near the Horse Hill oil production site invite us to consider creating with and making use of the Earth’s resources, and to contemplate how the kind of extractivism witnessed at Horse Hill is fundamentally different to other kinds of human-nature relationships.

Clockwise from top left:

Horse Hill campaign supporters share their activist stories and make together. Photo by Xanthe Maggs and Alice Owen.

‘No Drill Horse Hill’ badges are shared with campaigners or sold for fundraising, promoting a sense of a shared campaign community. Design and photo by Xanthe Maggs.

Fired makes from the campaigners’ workshop are displayed at the Horse Hill Monitoring Camp. Photo by Alice Owen.

Students display their creations on a map of the Horse Hill area overlain with a geological map showing clay deposits. Map and photo by Xanthe Maggs.

Explore Alice Owen’s work

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