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Petcoke: Tracing Dirty Energy Exhibition

Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, Chicago, IL


The Museum of Contemporary Photography, in collaboration with the Resources Defense Council, received support for the creation and presentation of an exhibition of artistic responses to petcoke. This dust-like waste product containing carbon and toxic heavy metals results from oil-refining processes. For Petcoke: Tracing Dirty Energy, MoCP commissioned responses from artists and artist collectives, with particular attention given to Chicago’s southeast side, where petcoke waste is stored adjacent to residential neighborhoods. The exhibition and programming aimed to raise awareness of this issue, as well as human-caused climate change, environmental degradation, and the global impact of extracting and processing tar sands. The exhibit was on view from July 21 to October 9, 2016. Participating artists were Marissa Lee Benedict and David Reuter, Rozalinda Borcilӑ, Terry Evans, Geissler/Sann, Brian Holmes, Claire Pentecost, Steve Rowell, and Victoria Sambunaris.