"on behalf of the land and everything living on it, new image wars must be made."

—Lucy Lippard

OUR goals

  1. To invite, provoke, and convoke galleries, museums, libraries, and public and private art spaces and organizations throughout the American West, the country as a whole and overseas to program individual and group exhibitions, book arts gatherings, performances, symposia, and related activities, all with the defining theme of EXTRACTION and held during the same period—spring through fall of 2021.

  2. To encourage individual and collective artists, poets, composers, choreographers, filmmakers, etc. to address the theme during this time by creating new works across all media.

  3. To persuade writers, editors, publishers, photographers, curators, and individual artists to create documents, produce publications, and establish and maintain archives (both digital and print) linked by the shared theme, so that a comprehensive record of EXTRACTION exists to inform and inspire others.

  4. To foster a cooperative, synergistic, non-hierarchical, self-propagating network of all of the above with the common purpose of creating a multi-layered, cross-institutional, trans-border multimedia ruckus over the single most urgent planetary concern of our time—the social, cultural, and environmental costs of unbridled globalized extractive industry, including the negative effects of climate change; the deterioration of land, water, and air; the devastation and displacement of poor, minority, and indigenous communities; and much else.

As happens at Documenta, the free-for-all art extravaganza that takes place every five years in Germany, no one in particular owns or oversees EXTRACTION. Anyone, located anywhere, is welcome to contribute or participate in any way they wish. Those involved can be both creator and catalyst. Unlike the Exquisite Corpse of the Surrealists, our collaboration will be transparent; everyone will be able to see what others are doing, and how and where the overall project is evolving.

We don’t consider ourselves social workers or political activists. We aspire to the timeless role of aesthetic troublemaker, or trickster, producing artworks as interventions that disturb the collective oblivion that makes possible our suicidal cultural contract regarding extractive industry. What each of us does after our dreadful awakening is for each of us to decide.

—Edwin Dobb

—Peter Rutledge Koch


If you would like to be involved in Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss, contact Peter Koch, Edwin Dobb or Sam Pelts (at sdpelts@gmail.com).