The Infernal Grove Study Group
CAPITAL, DRUGS AND THE SEARCH FOR ENCHANTMENT
Thursday Oct. 14, 6:30-8:00pm EST
All are welcome to join the conversation remotely on zoom here.
Reading: Silvia Federici’s Re-enchanting the World: Feminism and the Politics of the Commons (2018) (pdf) (audio)
Video: The Infernal Grove
Reading the text was not a requirement for participation in the discussion. This has become a consistent practice, and is part of a commitment to accessibility
The study group brought into dialogue a group of artists and scholars from across the continent who have lived experience with substance-use and a range of current relationships to sobriety and its alternatives. We discussed “Re-enchanting the World: Technology, the Body, and the Construction of the Commons” from Silvia Federici’s book Re-Enchanting the World: Feminism and the Politics of the Commons.
In recovery programs, perhaps by necessity and certainly by design, there is a push to accept received wisdom. But for addict-intellectuals, it’s hard to forfeit critical thinking to recovery. In addiction, connection to the intellectual can become tenuous. It’s easy to lose the relationships and identities that support rigorous critical thinking. Recovery can mean recovering those relationships and identities.
This first session of the Study Group explored the notion of drug-taking as an adaptive strategy in a world stripped of ritual and connection to land.
The Infernal Grove Project exposes the disproportionate effects of public trauma (including the COVID pandemic) on drug users, especially addicts of color. It’s become an organizing principle in our thinking about this work: we need to show the connections between addiction and the socioeconomic forces that create and exploit it.
This iteration of The Infernal Grove Project took place on stolen Mi’kmaq and Onondaga land. https://www.canopycanopycanopy.com/contents/join-the-informants
Cooper Battersby and Emily Vey Duke have worked collaboratively since 1994. They work primarily in video. Their works can be found at V-Tape in Toronto, Video Databank in Chicago and Argos in Brussels. They are currently faculty at Syracuse University.
Liz Roberts makes artwork that is often collaborative and rooted in moving image and sound. Recently she’s been working on autobiographical filmmaking as a way to try and reckon with the violence of an extractive documentary camera. She has held teaching positions in cinema and art departments at Denison University, Columbus College of Art & Design, and Ohio State University. While living in Ohio she worked collectively and horizontally with a large group of artists called MINT in their warehouse space. Her work has shown widely, and her early films are in the collection of the Filmmakers Cooperative in New York City.