As artists and researchers, we are constantly exploring the connections between art, the environment, and labour rights. Interviews from our ongoing Extraction project were broadcast as part of Mad Kate’s S.W.E.A.T. podcast.
In March 2023 we had the opportunity to interview Donato Laborante, who we met during our tour of the Murgia region of Italy in 2015. As well as being a curator, Donato is a poet, actor, performer and storyteller who galvanizes the artistic scene to create happenings and to move people to take political action in their everyday actions. During one of our visits, we made a journey into a marble quarry in Apricena, and were joined by several local artists who spontaneously began playing percussive sounds on the wall of the quarry. It was this moment that sparked our interest in the idea of extraction as metasignfier–including the extraction of (creative) labour from (precarious) bodies; minerals, gas and water from the ground; sounds, words and images from sentient beings; the consensual extraction of digital content, and the “mining of the exotic” from our very identities. Our third visit to the area allowed us to deepen our understanding of the relationship between stone, sound, and time.
February 2023 featured an interview with Professor Imre Szeman, the inaugural Director of the Institute for Environment, Conservation, and Sustainability and Professor of Human Geography at the University of Toronto Scarborough. During the interview, he shared his insights on defining extractivism, the role of the artist in using the term, the use and limitation of regarding everything as animate, and greenwashing. From 2021-2022, he was the Climate Critic for the Green Party of Canada. He is co-founder of the Petrocultures Research Group, which explores the socio-cultural dimensions of energy use and its implications for energy transition and climate change, and the leader of After Oil, a collective which has produced After Oil (West Virginia University Press, 2016) and Solarities: Seeking Energy Justice (University of Minnesota Press, 2022). He is the author of On Petrocultures: Globalization, Culture, and Energy (WVUP, 2019) and is working on The Future of the Sun, a book detailing corporate and state control of the transition to renewables.
May 2023 featured an interview with Professor Thomas F. DeFrantz in conversation with HYENAZ in the context of our project on art and cultures of extraction. Together we talk about time, Black aesthetics, NOWness and the processes of building creative encounters. Thomas F. DeFrantz teaches at Northwestern University and directs SLIPPAGE: Performance|Culture|Technology; the group explores emerging technology in live performance applications. He believes in our shared capacity to do better and engage creative spirit for a collective good that is anti-racist, proto-feminist, and queer affirming.
S.W.E.A.T. airs on Colaboradio Free Radios Berlin Brandenburg – 88.4fm in Berlin, 90.7fm in Potsdam, and streaming at FR-BB.org. Afterwards its available for streaming from your podcast app.