This was the Fossil Fools Collective's first solo exhibition, and it took place at the University of Northern Iowa from 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 audio excerpt is from “Conversations with Coal Miners and with Death,” 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.