cover of book

Energy Culture: Art and Theory on Oil and Beyond
edited by Imre Szeman and Jeff Diamanti
West Virginia University Press, 2019
Paper: 978-1-949199-12-3 | Cloth: 978-1-949199-11-6
Library of Congress Classification TP318.E545 2019
Dewey Decimal Classification 621.042


Energy Culture is a provocative book about oil’s firm grip on our politics and everyday lives. It brings together essays and artwork produced in a collaborative environment to stimulate new ways of thinking and to achieve a more just and sustainable world.

The original work collected in Energy Culture creatively engages energy as a social form through lively arguments and artistic research organized around three vectors of inquiry. The first maps how fossil fuels became, and continue to be, embedded in North American society, from the ideology of tar sands reclamation projects to dreams of fiber optic cables running through the Northwest Passage. The second comprises creative and artistic responses to the dominance of fossil fuels in everyday life and to the challenge of realizing new energy cultures. The final section addresses the conceptual and political challenges posed by energy transition and calls into question established views on energy. Its contributions caution against solar capitalism, explore the politics of sabotage, and imagine an energy efficient transportation system called “the switch.” Imbued with a sense of urgency and hope, Energy Culture exposes the deep imbrications of energy and culture while pointing provocatively to ways of thinking and living otherwise.

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