Workshop - The Infrastructure of Fortune: Extraction and Resistance, led by Mikhail Karikis and Rebekah Plueckhahn

Sounds from Beneath (2012), a project by Mikhail Karikis, a video by Mikhail Karikis & Uriel Orlow

Led by artist Mikhail Karikis and anthropologist Rebekah Plueckhahn, this workshop invites artists, curators and researchers to share case studies and present projects that address contemporary forms of extraction. Together we will collectively reflect upon their social, ecological and affective consequences. 

Supported by rhetorics of permanent economic growth and development, intertwined with economic policies based on aggressive neoliberal approaches to nature, the geography of extraction becomes a visible map of social, ecological and political conflict and resistance. 
Reflecting on the subject across multiple contexts – from the coal and gold mining boom in Mongolia to the social fragmentation of mining history in UK – the workshop questions how extractive logics necessarily shape contemporary infrastructures and logistics, and how they reinforce new and old forms of exploitation including dispossession of land and resources, and the dismantling of social cooperation.
What transdisciplinary approaches, conceptual and aesthetic, can we adopt in order to understand and disentangle this complex systems of visual, cultural, societal, technological, ecological, economic and political forces?
This workshop is free but booking is essential. During the workshop, we will leave some time for participants to present their own case studies or research. If you would like to present a project please send a brief outline to
Mikhail Karikis is a Greek-British artist based in London and Lisbon. His work embraces moving image, sound and other media to create immersive audio-visual installations and performances which emerge from his long-standing interest in the voice as a material and a socio-political agent. Developing large-scale projects in collaboration with different communities, over the past decade, Karikis has focused on legacies of post-industrialisation, human labour and the use of natural resources. Often featuring groups that have been geographically or socially marginalised, his works highlight alternative models of human existence, solidarity and action.
Karikis' works are exhibited widely in museums, international biennials of film festivals. He was shortlisted for the 2016 Film London Derek Jarman Award (UK), the 2015 Daiwa Art Prize (JP/UK) and the 2012 Celeste Prize (IT). Current and forthcoming solo exhibitions include No Ordinary Protest, Whitechapel Gallery, London (UK); Ain’t Got No Fear, Turku Museum of Art, Turku (FI); Children of Unquiet, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (IT); MORI Art Museum, Tokyo (JP).
Rebekah Plueckhahn joins UCL Anthropology as a team member of the ERC project ‘Emerging Subjects of the New Economy: Tracing Economic Growth in Mongolia.’ On this project, she is conducting research into different urban spaces in Ulaanbaatar, exploring the relationships between infrastructure, economic oscillations, perceptions of the market, and people’s everyday decision making as they try to access and keep property and housing. Her research interests range from temporality, speculation, property and ownership, infrastructure, strategy, the making of urban space, value, and morality. She comes to this project with a research background in sociality, performance, aesthetics, and value which she applies in her research on the ways people create and use urban space and attempt to resolve conflict. 
Rebekah received her PhD from the Australian National University in 2014 for her research into changing musical-social practices, social aesthetics, performance, and future imaginaries among a group of Altai Urianghai people both in and from western Mongolia. Prior to her PhD, Rebekah worked for one year in Ulaanbaatar as an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development.  Her book Shaping Urban Futures in Ulaanbaatar (working title) is forthcoming with UCL Press.