We are deeply saddened at the passing of our dear friend and co-conspirator Edwin Dobb. Ed was a co-founder of Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss, a special project of the CODEX Foundation, and for him it was a pursuit of pure passion.
Ed described the Extraction Project in a rabble-rousing call to action: “Human civilization is out of balance with the rest of life. We’re gorging on natural resources without regard to the consequences. It's much more than climate change. It goes deeper - to the underlying dilemma, which is the unsustainable exploitation of ALL natural resources, not only coal and oil and gas ... but minerals, timber, fresh water, soil, marine life, on and on and on. We can change course. It starts with sounding an alarm. And who better to do that than artists?
“During the summer of 2021, hundreds of artists in the U.S. and abroad will raise a ruckus in defense of the Earth, our only home. Dozens upon dozens of exhibitions, performances, installations, and other art projects, all around the world, all at the same time, will deliver a single message: ‘Enough!’ ”
Ed’s careful correspondence was instrumental in expanding the boundaries of the project to encompass the many hundreds of artists and creators, from all walks of life, who make up our ranks today. The diversity of the project, whether defined in thematic, ethnic, or geographical terms, is largely due to Ed's vision of inclusivity, not to mention his unshakeable outreach efforts.
Ed grew up in Butte, Montana, and for him the Berkeley Pit was and always has been the "symbolic nucleus" of Extraction. A beloved partner, brother, father, and grandfather, he was also a gifted writer and journalist whose work appeared in Harper's Magazine and National Geographic, among many others. Though not a visual artist himself, Ed recognized better than anyone the deep reservoir of untapped power for social change, which lies dormant within the lexicon of aesthetic expression.
Ed was also endowed with those exceptional qualities of realism and idealism which rarely exist together within the same individual, and which, in confluence, react with one another to create the conditions for real change. Like the wise and seasoned among us, he saw the unvarnished world as it was. At the same time, he saw - with the earnest conviction of a younger man - the world as it might be tomorrow, if we could just gather the strength to change course.
In the words of Ed’s sister Suzanne, who organized this campaign in his memory: “We can honor the memory of my brother Ed by making his vision a reality. Together, we can create a future where our planet is treated with the care and respect it deserves.” All donations for this campaign will be directed to “Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss,” a special project of the CODEX Foundation, in memory of Edwin Dobb.
This ruckus is for you, Ed.
All contributions will be used to further the goals of the Extraction Project, which are as follows:
1. To invite, provoke, and convoke galleries, museums, libraries, and public and private art spaces and organizations throughout the American West, the country as a whole and overseas to program individual and group exhibitions, book arts gatherings, performances, symposia, and related activities, all with the defining theme of EXTRACTION and held during the same period—spring through fall of 2021.
2. To encourage individual and collective artists, poets, composers, choreographers, filmmakers, etc. to address the theme during this time by creating new works across all media.
3. To persuade writers, editors, publishers, photographers, curators, and individual artists to create documents, produce publications, and establish and maintain archives (both digital and print) linked by the shared theme, so that a comprehensive record of EXTRACTION exists to inform and inspire others.
4. To foster a cooperative, synergistic, non-hierarchical, self-propagating network of all of the above with the common purpose of creating a multi-layered, cross-institutional, trans-border multimedia ruckus over the single most urgent planetary concern of our time—the social, cultural, and environmental costs of unbridled globalized extractive industry, including the negative effects of climate change; the deterioration of land, water, and air; the devastation and displacement of poor, minority, and indigenous communities; and much else.
Read Ed's obituary
For more information visit our website: Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss
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The CODEX Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Berkeley, CA.