In some explorations – preliminary to our trip and at the beginning of the second stage of the expeditions – on the territory of Rostock, one of the themes that I had recently been investigating through artistic means reappeared: Coal.
The temptation to reactivate my research around this topic became inevitable, now, already within an expanded framework, the global energy crisis.
This pressing environment is being in 2022 the object of delirious affectations and decisions by the most powerful nations in the world.
In at least the first half of 2022 -although already observable from before- any survey on what these nations are doing in relation to the amazing data on climate change and global warming, can only increase doubt, suspicion, mistrust about the green plan to reduce co2 emissions.
The choice to develop this topic has been confronting me week by week with the facts of a certain global scale. The reality surpassing my most speculative reasoning, and giving rise to the information on the continuous decisions of the governments on Power Stations type 1 and 2, the fossil fuels and finally the: energy. As in an atlas of links and crossed narratives, the image of The Goddess of Electricity appears in the researches of the curational team, the iconography of the most important electricity generation company in Europe cames to light and activate cirtic-paranoid method again.
It is very common to hear phrases such as: the coal era is over, and this statement is not controversial in areas of discussion of these issues. However, nothing seems to be about the end of something, but rather the overlapping of transitions. Gas, Crude, Hydro, Biomass, Eolic, Greens, and Coal are co-existing in the real world energy matrix, now and in the future. Some surprises could come, like 2022 Energy Global Crisis with price of Electricity rising unknown high levels ever.
In terms of general speaking, i read in several environmental organizations database, that even today 70% of these CO2 emissions come from coal-fired power plants all around the world.
When we set up the exhibition in Berlin -later, after Rostock-, to open the process of the Expeditions team, these last information, 70%, establish very interesting talking and interchange with many of the visitors, and that marked to me, the very main mission of my working around.
About 33% of the electrical energy generated by human civilization still comes from these plants.
The Coal Power Stations extinction seems to spread long in the future time. Possibly longer than we suspect. In Carbon Brief database, a maps shows, how many new power plants are planned to construct in the next years. Its about GigaWatts and TerrorBytes.
A little less than 150 years after the beginning of The Age of Electricity, reviewing the issue is reviewing the relations of power, domination, colonialism, extractivism, neo-extractivism in an irreversible post-nature framework.
Being in Rostock we have seen how Germany decided to postpone the plan to turn off the coal plants for 10 years, passing it to 2038.
The months go by and the news of countries that are deciding to turn on the “forgotten” centrals is recurrent.
The coal project thus becomes a piece to establish conversations and discuss an even greater topic: the generation of electrical energy. Who are the owners of electricity?
It seems that the possible answer involves a collision between the global, the local, the private and the public.
It seems to be a subject watered by secrets. A Surreal atmosphera. A Delirious Inprint impregnated in smoke.
The Coal Price is multiplied by 3 on the end of March 2022.
The war for Energy, Cyberattacks and Blackout sabotage.
Electronic Capitalism, TechnoMoney, TechnoScam.
How long a story lasts in a tiktok cube.
Electronically Steered Boats.
The online Search Algorithm enhances my “obsession” with the subject, offering me one or two news items published daily in different media and chronicles about the decisions regarding coal-fired power plants. Only a critical image reflects like a surreal painting in which nature and CO2 emissions formalize the environment with the keynote for a drone.
My personal work around the theme of coal as one of the bases of the human generation of electricity tends to conform more and more through the recurring idea of applying some mutation of the critical paranoid method.
I decided to add a kind of tool that i keep for many years in mode: waitting. To activate again the practice of Drawing as a path of Listening. In this case, a territory that i have never been yet, and i have no memories at all.
I draw like 100 sketches from different places in the territory, always the cooling tower of the Rostock Coal Power Station appears as a landamark. As HH said, Architecture is Waitting. Sound is also Waiting, in Silence.
During our days in Rostock, the Power Station was not operative. Two explanations: coincidence on the maintenance work on filters + not enough coal in stock to activate it again. The Coal for Rostock Power Station cames -by now- from Russia. It could came from anyplace, any land, any nature mine all around the world. Electronically Guided Ships deliver around the globe.
SOME QUOTES – CRITIC PARANOID MUTATED METHOD
1.0_ Mineral Coal is one of the three rocks that prehistoric civilizations uses as a tool for drawing and painting. // MAC_Catalunya
1.1_ In Berlin, some apartments use prefabricated carbon bricks as fuel to generate heat in old-modern stoves that heat the main room of the house during the winter. // Neukölln
1.2_ In Santiago de Compostela, a jewelry store has been producing and selling jewelry and handicrafts to the public for 70 years, using coal as the main mineral element in the design of souvenirs. // Galiza
1.3_ The resistors carry powdered carbon inside.
1.4_ Austria turns on again the coal power stations.
1.5_Two ships full of coal arrive to be stored in El Musel.
1.6_In the Bay of Montevideo, the first coal-fired power plant in South America was installed in 1887
1.7_Germany postpones the date to turn off coal-fired power plants for 2038.
1.8_ Energy Austerity Plan
2.0_ Information has always contradictions. It depends from the source.
3.3_ In the night of 9 may. 2022, At the Linkedeeler Boat in ROstock, i dreammed i made a Coal Synthesizer, an interface, metal noise generator.
Photo Credits Field of Carbón: Lourdes Silva
In the 3er Expedition, to the Industrial Port of Rostock, i/we could see, feel and listen to the huge coal stock field. A mecanic operation for the mineral. “From the underground ages of the natural territory to this small coal stones to be burned, it is stunning.” said to me Kerstin Ergenzinger, and as we walk the main street along doing a linear field recording of this field of carbon, Kerstin stops at the portal of the Coal Field, and asked me to play the metal tubes of the portal with the knuckles of my hands. You could listen the recording in the audiovisual artifact.
CarbonBriefWebPage // In Yellow Oparating Coal Power Stattion + In Purple: UnderCosntruction and Future Coal Power Stations
There is some amount of surreal energy in the scene where you see all the time a power station that is just turned off. Similar to say, this waiting mode or status increases the mistery and the forces that push to reveal what is going on. Is it Real? Is all this Real? Is kind of a same feeling when you see and listen the global port machinery as an almost empty place, with a no-human scale, and in fact, machines, boats, cranes, ferrys, etc that are electronically controled, no-human there. Is a surreal sensation according to the hyperreality of things- affects in the post capitalism era. The curious aspect that there are not abandoned areas, just operational territories in a global scale.
Drawing as Listening Action:
Presentation of the work in Berlin as a Interchange Device.
Three more aspects/substances of this work are still in progress:
A_ A Score for Counting from 1 to 70%.
B_ Audiovisual “The Goddess of Electricity” Part 3.
C_Composition of a Place / Sound Etnofiction with Listening Score
PRESS DATA: 11 MARCH, 2022 // Font: DPA and 20Minutos.
ROSTOCK POWER STATION WORKING — before Expeditions-Rostock Part starts.