Petcoke: Tracing Dirty Energy Symposium

Stage Two

About The Event

This full day event will feature exhibiting artists, activists and scholars who are engaged around the relationship between the expanding petcoke industry and its effect on climate change.


10:00 – 10:05a

Director’s Welcome

Natasha Egan, Executive Director of MoCP welcomes guests and gives an overview to the project and day’s program.


10:05 – 10:30a


Josh Mogerman, National Media Director at the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) provides an introduction to petcoke and the history of activism surrounding it.


10:30 – 11:45a

1st Session

Stories from Industrial Chicago

Christine Walley, Rozalinda Borcilă, Terry Evans, Sam Corona, Moderated by Karen Irvine

Author and cultural anthropologist Christine Walley joins exhibiting artists Rozalinda Borcilă and Terry Evans and community activist Sam Corona to discuss the cultural, environmental, and industrial history of Chicago’s Southeast Side. From distinct points of view and positions both inside and outside of the SE Side community, each panelist will share insight into the ecological and social tensions that have grown out of oil manufacturing in the region, and discuss the role of personal histories, dominant cultural narratives, and counter narratives in activism and awareness. 




1:00 – 2:30p

2nd Session

Deep Time Chicago

Brian Holmes, Claire Pentecost, Oliver Sann, Steve Rowell, Katrin Klingan

Artists Oliver Sann, Brian Holmes and Claire Pentecost will discuss their work with Deep Time Chicago, an art/research/activism initiative formed in the wake of their participation in the Anthropocene Curriculum at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. They are joined by exhibiting artist Steve Rowell and special guest Katrin Klingan, who led the Anthropocene Curriculum project. Katrin Klingan’s participation is made possible by the Goethe Institut Chicago.  



3:00 – 4:15p

3rd Session 

What Does the Future Hold?

Marissa Lee Benedict, Henry Henderson, David Rueter, Peggy Salazar, Victoria Sambunaris, Moderated by Natasha Egan

Henry Henderson, the director of the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) Midwest Program and Peggy Salazar, the director of the Southeast Environmental Taskforce (SETF) join exhibiting artists Marissa Lee Benedict, David Rueter, and Victoria Sambunaris to discuss the role artists play in addressing environmental issues in their work and how their vision can help shape the work of environmental organizations such as the NRDC and SETF. Panelist will discuss what is at stake in Chicago and beyond with regards to oil production and what kinds of environmental issues will become more prominent in the coming years.


Image credit: Beate Geissler/Oliver Sann, Methadone, 2016, Courtesy of taubert contemporary, Berlin