Cobalt/The Objects: Resistance After Nature Workshop with Mary Mattingly

Monday, April 3, 2017
4:30 p.m.
Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery
Haverford College

Worldwide, fifty percent of cobalt is used in the chemical industry to make pigments, drying agents, nuclear energy, and fertilizer. Super alloys from cobalt comprise twenty percent of a global market, including hard metals, permanent magnets, and rechargeable batteries. Roughly sixty percent of cobalt extraction happens in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The objects that surround us are part of a massive web of extraction-based neocolonialism. With a focus on cobalt, this workshop is about deciphering the mineral, its uses, where it is mined from and how we can tell its story.

For this participatory workshop with the artist Mary Mattingly, whose work is currently featured in the exhibition Resistance After Nature, each participant is asked to bring an object that contains cobalt to contribute. We will create an archive of these objects, through recording them in various ways, from research to ritual to tactile forms of tracing. We will map these items by examining the sources of the parts. We will also draw, write about, and scan the objects. This will serve as a type of eulogy for each object. Each person will contribute an object to a sculptural bundle, where the objects are linked together, and this bundle will be displayed as a collaborative artwork in the exhibition.

Mary Mattingly is a visual artist. Currently, “Swale” is a floating food forest for New York. In 2015, she completed a two-part sculpture “Pull” for the International Havana Biennial with the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de la Habana and the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Mary Mattingly’s work has been exhibited at the International Center of Photography, the Seoul Art Center, the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, and the Palais de Tokyo. With the U.S. Department of State and Bronx Museum of the Arts she participated in the smARTpower project, traveling to Manila. In 2009 Mattingly founded the Waterpod Project, a barge-based public space and self-sufficient habitat that hosted over 200,000 visitors in New York. In 2014, an artist residency on the water called WetLand launched in Philadelphia. It is being utilized by the University of Pennsylvania’s Environmental Humanities program.

Organized in conjunction with the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery exhibition Resistance After Nature, curated by Kendra Sullivan and Dylan Gauthier; supported by the Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities.