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The Petroleum Manga

Marina Zurkow

Published onNov 27, 2021
The Petroleum Manga

The Petroleum Manga

Marina Zurkow

Imprint: Peanut Books

  • ISBN: 978-0-615-96596-3

  • Paperback, 6×11.69 in., B/W, 172pp.

  • Publication date: February 25, 2014

  • Price: $21

  • BISAC: CGN004050

  • Thema: XQA, THFP

  • Categories: Manga (Non-Fiction)

The Petroleum Manga, first conceived of and rendered as 10-foot banners printed on Tyvek for gallery installation is now reproduced in book form.

Originally, manga was used in Japanese to refer to whimsical drawings or picture books. Long before manga was a multi-billion-dollar-a-year comic book industry, there was Hokusai’s thirteen-volume manga, depicting everything from trees to demons, from squirrels to shingles. This was the work that inspired the form for Marina Zurkow’s own crazy amalgam depicting a taxonomy of products derived from petroleum.

Remaining true to this inspiration, this book compiles a curious array of imaginative-philosophical texts by a variety of poets, fiction writers, and theorists illuminating, illustrating, fabulating, and riffing upon a wide range of petrochemical-based objects and ideas. This “collection” maps new webs of relations between us and these seemingly ubiquitous yet often unremarked objects, along the lines of a fanciful petro-poetics.

Fanciful, yet dead serious. As Duncan Murrell writes, “our plastics will live forever, no longer able to decompose, while we become molecules again. When we are long gone, there will still be plastic clown masks circling in the Pacific Ocean. This, and not our great works of art and literature, will be the persistent legacy of life on earth, these objects crafted out of life’s own ancient flesh.”

Contributors (in order of appearance) include: Duncan Murrell, Melissa Kwasny, Hali Felt, Lucy Corin, Maureen N. McLane, Matt Dube, Max Liboiron, Derek Woods, Susan Squier, Elizabeth Crane, Lydia Millet, Rachel Cantor, Una Chaudhuri, K.A. Hays, Elena Glasberg, James Grinwis, Joseph Campana, Nancy Hechinger, Christine Hume, Cecily Parks, Kellie Wells, Timothy Morton, Michael Mejia, Doug Watson, Gabriel Fried, Ruth Ozeki, Nicole Walker, Abigail Simon, Oliver Kellhammer, Seth Horowitz, David M. Johns, Valerie Vogrin, Jamie “Skye” Bianco, and Marina Zurkow.

Crossing multiple disciplines with her practice, Marina Zurkow builds animations and participatory environments that are centered on humans and their relationship to animals, plants and the weather. Engaging audiences using film and video, sculpture, print graphics and public interventions, Zurkow’s work is by turns humorous and contemplative. Through the experience of her projects it is clear that nature has long been a stage upon which we project ourselves, making ourselves other. Marina Zurkow is the recipient of a 2011 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. She has also been granted awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Creative Capital. She is on faculty at NYU’s Interactive Technology Program (ITP), and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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