Speaking through Coal: The Art of Appalachian Fatalism, Resource Extraction & Electracy

A conversation from the Transnatural Perspectives Podcast with Artist & Researcher Ernie Roby-Tomic

Ernie Roby-Tomic is a multimedia artist and researcher who uses, among many mediums and methods, music, poetry, archival research, video game design, GIS and 3D printing via the paradigms of Electracy and Verticality to tell the stories of resource extraction of rural coal country culture in West Virginia in the United states.

Roby-Tomic’s multi-faceted approach is one of great authenticity, telling the story of this crucial and highly politicized slice of US culture and history, but also the story his own upbringing as a child of a West Virginia coal miner. Roby-Tomic’s work explore themes of of resource extraction and it‘s ecosocial impact that is ultimately transnatural, taking it’s toll on families, society, the natural environment that is both a literal and figurative example of fatalistic toll of late-stage capitalism on ourselves and our surroundings.

Roby-Tomic’s news digital exhibition, Reclamation:Exposing Coal Seams and Appalachian Fatalism with Digital Apparatuses, was recently published and available online via the Research Catalogue an international database for artistic research.

Fasten your seat belts everyone because this one is a doozy! This might be the most experimental episode yet. Not only is the longest podcast ever on the Transnatural Perspectives Podcast but, considering that we are discussing visual art, the video from our discussion includes include a detailed walk though of the exhibition from the artist themself! You can check that out over on the Transnatural Perspectives Podcast YouTube channel.




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Joshua David Bennett

Joshua David Bennett

Host: Transnatural Perspectives Podcast. Educator, Guide, Communication Artist. Cultivating perspectives on Society & Culture across Environments & Landscapes