“It is wrong and immoral to seek to escape the consequences of one’s acts.”
Personal responsibility is and always has been part of what makes human existence possible. Without it our world would have been destroyed long ago by a species that lives consistently outside its natural capabilities. And yet, a lack of personal responsibility, both on an individual level as well as writ much larger by corporations that knowingly pollute and destruct, threaten to create the sort of cataclysm that will make human life unable to continue. We all – each person, each organization, each for-profit company and so on – bear the responsibility of keeping each other safe.
Alana Bartol spoke to us in mid-June 2020 from Calgary, Alberta, Canada where she was busy with a number of projects. One in particular that she has worked on for a number of years, The Orphan Well Adoption Agency, asks the public to examine concepts of care, accountability and responsibility in the oil and gas industry. The project began with her personal curiosity about what orphan wells are and led to her learning about regulatory bodies and policies of the oil and gas industry in Alberta and examining the lack of transparency and accountability that exists in this industry. An orphan well refers to a former oil site that has been abandoned by an oil and gas company, usually one that has gone bankrupt, who have abdicated responsibility for cleaning up and simply left this contaminated site in the land. To hear more about Alana Bartol’s important work on this project and more, listen to the complete interview.
Elisa Strinna spoke to us from the Italian countryside outside Venice where she was spending time vacationing and researching before returning to Rotterdam, Netherlands. As an artist living in Europe, she has been affected by the pandemic in many ways. Even her present travels have been extended due to her concern about traveling back and forth between Italy and Netherlands. Part of her research now involves visiting greenhouses and meeting people there. Her interest in greenhouses began in Netherlands and extended to her home country of Italy. Strinna’s work examines the intersection of culture and nature and is often focused on different kinds of infrastructures. To hear more about this and other aspects of her work, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
There is no escape from the consequences of destruction to our small planet – act accordingly.
Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.
Books to Read
What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Alana Bartol was reading a collection of short stories by Octavia Butler. Elisa Strinna recently began Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts by Bruno Latour, et al.
Brooklyn based artists, artist collectives and 501c3 arts organizations with a budget of $100,000 or below are invited to apply for the Brooklyn Arts Fund from Brooklyn Arts Council. According to their website, “A Brooklyn Arts Fund Grant is so much more than monetary support. It is an opportunity to connect with mentors, training, and future creative collaborators.” For full details, visit the website. Deadline for applications has been extended to September 18.