The Curatorial Fellowship invites you to the fourth event as part of ‘With The North Sea’ programme – a critical and poetic writing workshop with Maria Sledmere.

In his book Energy Without Conscience, David Hughes reminds us that ‘[p]etroleum inhabits geological rather than human or medical spaces’: oil’s circulation in everyday life is hidden within plastics and the vehicles that carry us; its crude form ‘does not appear’. We as consumers ‘[inject] gasoline blindly, without even glimpsing the liquid’. This workshop asks what it might mean to glimpse that ‘essential’ lubricant of neoliberal capitalism; to think about what crude matter spills in excess of the energy regimes that govern our lives. Beginning with oil, but encompassing other resources including solar and wind, we will explore the affective and embodied stories of energy. Inspired by the speculative practice of Laura Watts, Adam Dickinson’s metabolic poetics and Stephanie LeMenager’s ideas of petro-melancholia, ‘Energy (W)rites’ invites participants to develop creative interventions within our energy rituals, sensibilities, addictions, scales of experience and possible futures. The workshop will begin with a provocation on the poetics of energy and infrastructure, leading into individual and collaborative creative writing exercises and then reflective discussion on the role of art and culture in imagining energy transition.

You are encouraged to read this short, open access text, After Oil (Petrocultures Research Group, 2015), in advance of the workshop.

Maria Sledmere (@mariaxrose) is a DFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, from which she also holds an MA in English Literature and MLitt in Modernities. Working across visual art, sound, literature and theory, her practice explores creative-critical approaches to anthropocene aesthetics and the everyday. She is a member of A+E Collective, a Glasgow-based group of artists and writers forging links between art and ecology in curatorial and collaborative practice. She also works as a music journalist and editor at SPAM Press, Dostoyevsky Wannabe, and Gilded Dirt magazine.

Tickets are free but booking is encouraged.

The Associates is run by Peacock Visual Arts and began as a pilot program in 2018. This year’s programme brings together five practitioners working in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and is Scotland’s first fully-funded Curatorial Fellowship for visual arts. This year’s cohort includes; Joss Allen, Caitlin Dick, Phoebe McBride, Svetlana Panova and Abby Beatrice Quick. The Fellowship has been running since May 2019 through a series of intensive sessions, reading groups and discussions with local and international organisations and practitioners. The content of the programme is informed by the needs and interests of The Fellows and developed by the collective group, with support from PVA staff.

The programme is supported by the Aberdeen Place Programme, a partnership between Aberdeen City Council and Creative Scotland.