1275 Minnesota St / Gallery 106

Unearthing Disaster I & II by Berlin-based artists Angela Melitopoulos and Angela Anderson examines the destruction of a pristine, mountainous forest region in Northeastern Greece by a Canadian mining company.

This exhibition is presented by the Institute of the Arts and Sciences of the UC Santa Cruz Arts Division, and co-sponsored by Minnesota Street Project.

Unearthing Disaster I accompanies local activists on a journey through their once-familiar landscape, made unrecognizable in a matter of days by the impact of industrial resource extraction. Their journey reveals an imminent ecological disaster with thousands of trees cut, clean water disappearing from the mountain, and the sell-out of the region by local politicians. Unearthing Disaster II offers a poetic and moving overview of the stakes in this struggle. It contrasts the ecologically intertwined networks of plants, trees, streams, and earth with the massive, violent, mechanized destruction of these networks in the name of profit and capitalist “development.”

The struggle shown in Unearthing Disaster I & II is ongoing. Against this backdrop, Melitopoulos and Anderson's work calls implicitly for a re-evaluation of entangled economic, social, and political systems that produce ecological devastation and cultural upheaval.

Unearthing Disaster I & II is curated by IAS founding director John S. Weber. It is presented in conjunction with the EXTRACTION project at UC Santa Cruz, organized by artist A. Laurie Palmer and T.J. Demos of the Center for Creative Ecologies. The installation is generously supported by the Minnesota Street Project and funded by the McEvoy Family Fund of the IAS, the IAS Alumni Fund for Visiting Artists, UC Santa Cruz Arts Division, and annual donors to the IAS, with additional support provided by the UCSC Digital Arts/New Media program.

Running times

Unearthing Disaster I (2013):  36 minutes

Unearthing Disaster II (2015): 26 minutes