25 – 27 October 2018
The “True Oil” symposium not only places crude oil within its familiar technological and scientific context, but also examines how it affects our day-to-day lives and delves into its influence on spirituality and metaphysics.
Under the theme of “Paradigms and Doctrines of Petromodernity” international speakers, including lecturers from a wide range of universities, will provide an insight into spheres of life that have been influenced by petroleum and cast a critical eye over the environmental and social consequences of the extraction and use of this substance. Crude oil tends to attract a rather ambivalent response: while it has undoubtedly been a catalyst for progress, by increasing mobility, for instance, it invariably leaves a trail of devastation behind it. Mass use of crude oil in almost all product sectors means that it has found its way into almost every organism, whether through artificial fertilisers or microplastics. Issues that were long pushed under the carpet by big business and politics have now come to the fore as a result of the oil wars that have dragged on for years. Oil is power, given its terrifying momentousness for humankind. The Alvar-Aalto-Kulturhaus in Wolfsburg will host a number of talks on oil, its past and present, along with plastics, petrol, and today’s “petrochemical” society. There will also be an excursion to the German Crude Oil Museum in Wietze and the oil field services company Baker Hughes in Celle on 26 October 2018.
Admission to the symposium, which will be held in English, is free, but the number of participants is limited. Those interested can register on the website up until 12 October 2018. The symposium will also coincide with the exhibition “Oil. Schönheit und Schrecken des Erdölzeitalters” [Oil. The Beauty and Terror of the Petroleum Age], which will be held at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg from September 2019.