University of Northern Iowa: "Fossil Fools" Exhibition and Performances (2005)

This was the Fossil Fools Collective's first solo exhibition, and it took place at the University of Northern Iowa (June 6-July 2, 2006). It consisted of live performances, sculpture, painting, and video/sound installations. Two works were represented while there: a live performance of an ever-changing series of pieces using samples based on oil, coal, miners, and other energy related themes; and “Energy Wars,” a sound/video installation. Activists, students, faculty, and artists were among the many people we met during our residency.

The live performance consisted of “Conversations with Coal Miners and with Death” (an excerpt is below). It is a sound collage that explores the sadness, pride, and psychology that come with living near and working in coalmines. It attaches a human voice to a hidden component (and cost) of our energy consumption. In times where miners still face death as part of their daily work, the mines become a modern-day underworld that evoke the myth of Orpheus, his sad and mournful songs, and his unsuccessful descent below the earth’s surface to bring back Eurydice.