We Are Electric: Extraction, Extinction and Post-Carbon Futures

We Are Electric: Extraction, Extinction and Post-Carbon Futures

The University of Queensland Art Museum

February 13, 2023
We Are Electric: Extraction, Extinction and Post-Carbon Futures
February 14–June 24, 2023
The University of Queensland Art Museum
University Drive
The James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre (Building 11)
Brisbane Queensland 4072
Hours: Monday–Friday 10am–4pm,
Saturday 11am–3pm

T +61 7 3365 3046

Artists: Will Benedict, Diane Borsato, Eglé Budvytytè, Megan Cope, Michaela Gleave, Jack Green, Haines and Hinterding, The Institute of Queer Ecology, Mavis Ngallametta, Dane Mitchell, Elise Rasmussen, Cameron Robbins, Yasmin Smith, George Tjungurrayi, Girringun Art Centre: Daniel Beeron (Galaman), Davina Harries, Judith Henry, Clarence Kinjun, Doris Kinjun, Debra Murray, and Eileen Tep. Curator: Anna Briers.

We Are Electric is an exhibition about energy: its bodily and planetary flows, the politics of its extraction and exchange, and its inextricable connection to human evolution and industrial expansion. From the frequencies that careen between our cells—communicating with our hearts, instructing them to beat—to the electromagnetic fields that encompass the Earth and its rhythms, our bodies resonate with planetary vibrations. We are, quite simply, electric beings.  
However, our relationship with energy has come at a cost. We have trespassed deep into the past, burning ancient sunshine—in the form of fossil fuels—to irrevocably alter our future. Anthropogenic climate change and the settler-colonial lineages of extraction have reshaped the planet beyond human timescales. We Are Electric is a call to think (and act) beyond petro-capitalism, in sympathetic resonance and solidarity with planetary and non-human systems. 
In this exhibition, artists centre eco-critical conversations around energy futures and extinction, raising questions around pathways to decarbonisation. Artworks harness renewable energy resources such as solar power, attract electromagnetic forces and ambient currents, and evoke the sacred energy fields of ancestral Country. They register and articulate weather patterns, act as material witness, and channel soundings of the Earth. Calling upon queer manifestos and ancestral knowledges around care for Country through First Nations worldviews, they challenge the narratives of human supremacy to move beyond our current carbon imaginary.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of performances by musicians from The University of Queensland’s School of Music. They will activate Untitled (Death Song), an artwork by Quandamooka artist Megan Cope that acts as a lament, a harbinger of death, and a warning for the future as it evokes the haunting cries of the yellow-eyed Bush Stone-curlew, an endangered species of bird known for its distinctive call.

About The University of Queensland Art Museum
The University of Queensland Art Museum is a site for progressive and contemporary creative inquiry and one of Australia’s leading University Art Museums. Through a thought-provoking program of exhibitions and events, and in collaboration with academic partners, UQ Art Museum challenges audiences to consider new and diverse perspectives on urgent global issues.

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The University of Queensland Art Museum
February 13, 2023

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