With an ‘island consciousness, looking at the world from the shoreline of Malta at the Southern margin of the EU, Jimmy Grima & the rubberbodies collective set out to a transnational artistic exploration of European identity in the year 2020, which draws connections between man-made earthquakes, continental European folklore, myths of entrepreneurial spirit and economic growth, and the geological consequences of human extractivism.
KEROGEN VOICES starts out as research into man-made earthquakes and, with it, the question of what happens to human identity in a world where ominous events such as earthquakes and floods are no longer natural hazards reserved exclusively for superhuman forces, but also calculated risks of capitalist production. What used to be read as an ‘act of God’ beyond human control and possibly feared as an act of geo-planetary self-defence and anti-human revenge, is now humanly reproduced and integrated into a set of predictable side-effects of advanced engineering.
The practice of extracting gas from the Earth was previously unknown to me, and I had no idea that this could cause earthquakes. Adding to our list of follies, it seems humans are now responsible for seismic activity. Throughout my research, I collected scientific data and European folklore, urgently seeking to intertwine fantastical threads with the reality of artificially-induced earthquakes.
I developed the idea of presenting my findings as a music theatre work. I wanted to transform the theatre into an auditorium for visitors to experience a pulsating, geological opera.