Haines and Hinterding, "Encounter with the Halo Field", 2009-2015. Single-channel video, colour, sound, 3 min 38 sec. Courtesy of the artists and Sarah Cottier Gallery.

We Are Electric:

Extraction, Extinction and Post-Carbon Futures

14 February – 24 June 2023

Artists: Will Benedict, Diane Borsato, Eglé Budvytytè, Megan Cope, Michaela Gleave, Jack Green, Haines and Hinterding, The Institute of Queer Ecology, Mavis Ngallametta, Dane Mitchell, Elise Rasmussen, Cameron Robbins, Yasmin Smith, George Tjungurrayi, Girringun Art Centre: Daniel Beeron (Galaman), Davina Harries, Judith Henry, Clarence Kinjun, Doris Kinjun, Debra Murray, and Eileen Tep

Curator: Anna Briers

Still from an artwork by Elise Rasmussen
Elise Rasmussen, "In the Valley of the Moon", 2022, still from 16mm film transferred to 4K, colour, 4 channel sound, 4:3. Courtesy the artist, Los Angeles, USA.

We Are Electric is an exhibition about energy: its bodily and planetary flows, the politics of its extraction and exchange, and its inextricable connection to human evolution and industrial expansion. From the frequencies that careen between our cells—communicating with our hearts, instructing them to beat—to the electromagnetic fields that encompass the Earth and its rhythms, our bodies resonate with planetary vibrations. We are, quite simply, electric beings.  
However, our relationship with energy has come at a cost. We have trespassed deep into the past, burning ancient sunshine—in the form of fossil fuels—to irrevocably alter our future. Anthropogenic climate change and the settler-colonial lineages of extraction have reshaped the planet beyond human timescales. We Are Electric is a call to think (and act) beyond petro-capitalism, in sympathetic resonance and solidarity with planetary and non-human systems. 
In this exhibition, artists centre eco-critical conversations around energy futures and extinction, raising questions around pathways to decarbonisation. Artworks harness renewable energy resources such as solar power, attract electromagnetic forces and ambient currents, and evoke the sacred energy fields of ancestral Country. They register and articulate weather patterns, act as material witness, and channel soundings of the Earth. Calling upon queer manifestos and ancestral knowledges around care for Country through First Nations worldviews, they challenge the narratives of human supremacy to move beyond our current carbon imaginary.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Images for media use are available through the media kit.

View the UQ News media release.