What else can coal be beyond its problematic function as a fossil fuel? And how can you blend earth sciences with speculative thinking? As a contemporary alchemist, Hedwich Rooks asks us to reconsider our relationship with natural resources beyond extractivism. FIBER went in conversation with her about her RE:SOURCE residency, questioning what alternative imaginaries exist for energy.
As part of FIBER’s first RE:SOURCE Residency titled “The Mine”, Hedwich researched the inheritance of coal at the former coal mine Zeche Zollverein. Her artistic investigation, in collaboration with the NEW NOW Festival, went deeper into coal as a material and the future imaginaries of energy usage.
The outcome of her artistic exploration was presented in three research stages. In each stage, Rooks initiated her exploration from the material itself and based the experiments on various recording and visualization techniques. Here, she combined material research, such as chemical experiments involving coal, with digital technologies.
Through her installation, Rooks seeks to offer counter-responses to human interactions with coal, including its extraction, use as a fossil fuel, and carbon colonialism.
This RE:SOURCE Residency was a collaboration between NEW NOW Festival and FIBER Festival, and was supported by the Creative Industry Fund NL.