Abstract

This statement details Elia Vargas's hybrid research art practice and examines alternative histories of crude oil through the social practice of “Art Inspector” Danielle Siembieda. Using art inspection as a creative framework for understanding the entangled nature and culture of the product Crudoleum, invented by American mystic Edgar Cayce, Siembieda evaluates Vargas's crude oil art practice through an assessment of its environmental impacts. The performative inspection speculatively and empirically examines assumptions about the materiality of oil. The purpose of this statement is twofold: to analyze the constitution of Crudoleum, contextualizing it within a history of other petropractices, and to continue Vargas's ongoing critique of the perspective that fossil fuels are ontologically determinate by humans.

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