Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss, Preview of a Glorious Ruckus

Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss, Preview of a Glorious Ruckus

Former ALI President and Senior Counsel at Cobalt LPP Michael Traynor has published a booklet entitled “Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss, Preview of a Glorious Ruckus.” The booklet acts as both an introduction and an in depth explanation to the motivation, intention, and overall vision behind EXTRACTION: Art on the Edge of the Abyss a self-proclaimed “multimedia, multi-venue, cross-border art intervention that will investigate extractive industry in all of its forms (from mining and drilling to the reckless exploitation of water, soil, trees, marine life, and other natural resources).” The project aims to expose and interrogate  negative social and environmental consequences of extraction by shedding light on the harsh truths and awe striking scale of these damaging effects on the environment.

Below is an excerpt.

At this critical time of climate change and unsustainable extraction of natural resources, Peter Koch, a printer, publisher and fine artist, has conceived of EXTRACTION: Art on the Edge of the Abyss, ( He, Edwin Dobb, a writer and teacher of environmental stories, and a growing group of allies, have launched this inspiring project. They aim to create “a multi-layered, cross-institutional, trans-border multimedia ruckus over the single most urgent planetary concern of our time—the social, cultural, and environmental costs of unbridled globalized extractive industry, including the negative effects of climate change; the deterioration of land, water, and air; the devastation and displacement of poor, minority, and indigenous communities; and much else.”

It is human nature and a necessity to consume resources to survive. It is a human frailty and not a necessity to do so unsustainably. The extraction problem is not confined to mining fossil fuels or minerals from land and the deep sea. Unsustainable extraction occurs in many forms, for example, clear-cutting forests; overfishing oceans, rivers, and lakes; and over-drafting groundwater from aquifers. Unsustainable extraction in whatever form is attended by greed, lawlessness, treatment of the earth and its marvelously varied inhabitants as an externality, and disregard for present and future generations.

The Extraction Art project has a big vision and a simple message: It is concentrating on the arts and the environment. It hopes to educate, provoke, inspire, and reinforce others—educators, activists, academics, journalists, scientists, policy and opinion makers, and concerned individuals while maintaining its independence as an art project. It expects by this approach to enlist topnotch artists and art venues while respecting their boundaries and helping non-artist groups and individuals call attention to the social and environmental consequences of industrialized natural resource extraction.

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