"We are at a juncture where there is no way we can avert our attention from the earth and the dispossession of its peoples at the hands of capital. Can complex degradation be distilled down to the primary issue of extraction? Extraction is the taking and the pulling of material from an original place and the subsequent conversion of that material into a productive agent; another form for a purpose: oil into energy, human energy into profits. The earth continues to offer, in its cyclical manner, all its renewable and nonrenewable aspects despite it being drained to its core." (Cathy Lee Crane)
(X)-trACTION is a collaborative of five artists/filmmakers founded in 2021 whose first initial program of short poetic documentary films engaging with histories from the US American West began at the Central School Project in Bisbee, Arizona in January. It then continued at Cornell Cinema in Ithaca, New York in March. For the Arsenal screening in July in Berlin, the collaborative invited local communities to contribute observations of spaces from daily life that reveal "plunder or refuge." These contributions are included in the program as interstitial seams that make their way through the sequence of their own films to form a meta mash-up deposit concerned for our climate, our workers, our history and future–the beauty and the failures. Whereas the logic of extraction is violently deliberate, the operative logic of this generative media work [aka tthe current program] is generous, chance-based, and playful.
Mid-century postcards, front and back, offer invaluable if obscured views in Nicole Antebi’s archival re-animation of Roberto López Díaz’s depictions of la frontera. Geography plays across multiple enactments in Cathy Lee Crane’s video, which asserts the primacy of water and migration in the dust of militarized landscapes. Laurie McKenna conjures desert punk power in an aggregate of memory and charcoal, and grounds national rupture in a sonic diary. Erin Wilkerson and Jason Livingston, in their contributions, draw poetic power lines through industry, reminding us that extraction, for all its local magnetism and metal lures, is a view into international dynamics.
For this Berlin edition, (X)-trACTION wrote a manifesto as part of the collaboration between the Harun Farocki Institut and the Berliner Gazette’s project After Extractivism which is available here on their media partner’s website NON.
The Smoke Rides on the Wind Erin Wilkerson USA 2021 Digital file 13 Min.
The Loyalty League Laurie McKenna USA 2020 Digital file 4 Min.
100 Partially Obscured Views / 100 Vistas Parcialmente Oscurecidas Nicole Antebi USA 2022 Digital file 21 Min.
terrestial sea Cathy Lee Crane USA 2022 USA Digital file 14 Min.
Ancient Sunshine Jason Livingston USA 2020 Digital file 19 Min.
Aggregate Laurie McKenna USA 2022 Digital file 5 Min.