Zoë Claire Miller and Marco Schmitt
For the project EXORZIER-RAKU, Zoë Claire Miller and Marco Schmitt constructed a mobile raku kiln at the Floating
University. They will use it to banish the spirits and traumas of the systemic malformations within our capitalist, heteropatriarchal, and technofeudalist social order into sculptures and exorcise them through the ritual act of raku firing. (Raku is a special way of firing ceramics in which clay objects are removed from the kiln at a red-hot temperature and covered with organic material such as leaves, sawdust or hair – resulting in phenomenal colors and textures).
Contrary to the notion that technology can solve all earthly and human-caused problems, the goal of EXORZIER-RAKU is to ignite a haptic counterpoint to the high-tech dicktatorship of extractivism through earthy, collective creation processes. Bottom-up soft power of Berlin’s primordial sludge (in a sewage basin) instead of the hard power of the Amazon Tower and the Tesla Gigafactory (in a nature reserve). The raku kiln is a cybernetic organism – a self-regulating metabolistic locus – holistic, symbiotic, anarchic, alchemical.
The sessions with the exorcising raku kiln open up a liminal space, marking a transition to a post-capitalist future. The evil spirit of capitalism is exorcised sustainably in an act of creative destruction. The city and the earth dug out from beneath it, used to form sculptures fired in the raku kiln, are exorcism fuel for a r-evolutionary impulse. This TERRA-兀 unites us with Terra Mater and activates organic and political forces of resilience, materializing in sculptural iconographies of resistance, asking: How can we increase awareness for a symbiotic relationship between humans and the environment, starting out from the microcosm of the floating university? How can we overcome the Anthropocene? How can the city remain livable, and the earth?
Strategies of collective resistance take on polymorphous shapes with the participation of various self-organized initiatives and activist groups opposing the malevolent neoliberal, capitalist developments in Berlin’s urban fabric. The resulting sculptures are a manifestation of these critical positions. Additionally, a cinematic portrait of resistance in the city – with its unity of multiplicities – will be shot over the course of EXORZIER-RAKU.
Let’s clay the ultimate play and make them pay!
Exorzier Raku Workshop on September 9th