Frontier Climates – Managing the Global Commons

Mörtenböck, Peter and Mooshammer, Helge. 2019. Frontier Climates – Managing the Global Commons. In: Karen Lutsky; Ozayr Saloojee and Emily Eliza Scott, eds. Viscosity - Mobilizing Materialities. 4 University of Minnesota School of Architecture, pp. 15-33. ISBN 978-0-36-835667-4 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This volume, inspired by the 2017 “World of Matter: Mobilizing Materialities” exhibition and symposium at the University of Minnesota, features four essays—by Bruce Braun, Brian Davis, Rania Ghosn, and Helge Mooshammer & Peter Mortenbock—that investigate territorial transformations in sites of extreme extraction, from North Dakotan and Saudi Arabian oil-fields to the Argentinian coast to the Earth’s oceanic depths and icy poles. The authors explore how earthly materials are mobilized by humans while simultaneously introducing frictions that inhibit smooth, easy flows. A tension between quickness, on one hand, and thick, sludgy slowness, on the other, pervades these accounts, drawing our attention to viscosities—that which sticks and congeals, creating new configurations in the process. To focus on viscosity is to focus on traces and trails, on uneven interactions and affects, and on the gradual accumulation and integration of difference, complexity, and inchoateness. Viscosity: Mobilizing Materialities evokes alternatives—including those already detectible in social movements and indigenous cosmologies—to the petrocapitalist world we inhabit, characterized as it is by the rampant commodification, exploitation, and dispossession of humans and nonhumans alike. It imagines realities beyond the extractive view, with aesthetic experimentation being one way to get there.

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Book Section


global commons; resource frontiers

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Visual Cultures


1 September 2019Published

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Date Deposited:

21 Apr 2020 14:59

Last Modified:

28 Mar 2024 11:34


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