impromptu musical composition in a marble quarry in Apricena, Italy 2015

Extraction is the forthcoming audio visual and performative work in HYENAZ Foreign Bodies series and explores how extractive processes are replicated within the arts, and how we can find ways to resist and mediate those processes. The initial research phase of this project began in June 2021 through Fonds Darstellende Künste #TakeCare program. The residency phase of this work, with support from Fonds Darstellende Künste #TakeHeart program, continued in the summer of 2022 in partnership with Kampnagel Theatre Hamburg. More information about our work during the residency program can be found here.

The project began in 2015 with our field work in a rock quarry in Apricena, Italy (pictured above), where we gathered sounds, images and writing. This scar in the earth – both beautiful and disturbing – illuminated our role as artists in a society structured by extractive forms of capitalism. To develop a performative response, we will focus on accountability practices and proactive techniques to resist extractivist practices—especially looking inwards at the way in which gathering sound can be fundamentally extractive.

The concept of extraction situates all kinds of “innocent practices” as carrying the potential for exploitation and harm. We use extraction as metasignifier—we include the extraction of (creative) labour from (precarious) bodies, minerals, gas and water from the ground, sounds, words and images from sentient beings, as well as the “mining of the exotic” from our very selves. In response we ask: What are the problematics of extraction which appear within (always-already) hierarchical collaborations? How can processes compromised by extractive dynamics resist extraction? How can we name them, rather than erase them? What are the limitations of the extractivist framework? Are there other ways of finding reciprocal relations between artists, subjects, and nature?

We want to especially thank Donato, Maria-Teresa and the community in and around Apricena, Italy.