Saturday, October 19th, 2019 | 4:30pm at Sursock Museum

Oil, the world’s most important non-renewable resource, is at the center of ecological peril and financial oppression. In a poem-performance enacting a liquidation of data, memory, speculation, analysis, prediction, and other possible awakenings, the artist debuts a one-person collective called Oil Research Group (ORG). ORG is propelled by the concept that “data is the new oil,” coined in 2006 by British mathematician (and customer loyalty card inventor) Clive Humby. Oil is a finite source at the very core of both global financial markets and #nofuture petroleum wars; information, seemingly infinite, also “leaks” into the collapsing tripartite structures of governance, markets, and society. The digital self is sticky, like a bird after an oil spill. Moving along the axis of four Ds: dirt, debt, death, and finally, data, ORG traces the material and immaterial ways we are connected, addicted, and fossilized by our dominant technologies.

Maryam Monalisa Gharavi is an artist, poet, and theorist whose work explores the interplay between aesthetic and political valences in the public domain. Exhibitions, performances, and screenings of her work are various and include Nottingham Contemporary, UK; Serpentine Cinema, London; Pioneer Works, Brooklyn; New Museum, New York; Townhouse Gallery, Cairo; Parasol Unit, London; The Poetry Project, New York; among others. Publications include a translation of Waly Salomão’s Algaravias: Echo Chamber (Ugly Duckling Presse), The Distancing Effect (BlazeVOX), Bio (Inventory Press), Apparent Horizon 2 (Bonington Gallery), Alphabet of an Unknown City (Belladonna*), and in 2019, Secret Catalan Poem (The Elephants). She holds a PhD from Harvard University and an MFA from Bard College. She is currently an Artist-in-Residence at Recess Art in New York.

This event is part of Home Works 8: A Forum on Cultural Practices.

Image caption: 
First oil well in Iran to hit oil, located in Masjid Soleiman, 26 May 1908. British Petroleum.