Abstract: Petroleum Performances
This dissertation is a study of petroleum performances. It is a creative, performative, and speculative analysis of industrial petroleum operations, rhetorics about petroleum, and everyday North American life capacitated by petroleum products. North American petroleum operations and relations are examined through comparison and substitution with indigenous legal thought. This two part dissertation focuses the technical operations of a refinery and a crude oil pipeline hub.
Part One: Refining Petroleum Performances is about petroleum performances analyzed and speculated through the refining processes of the BP Cherry Point Refinery located at Xwe’chi’eXen. These chapters explore petroleum performances through analogy, parable and allegory figured by thinking with indigenous jurisprudence and ecological figuration. The analysis and speculations are arranged around a technical description of refinery processes from incoming crude to finished fuels. Nested and nestled within the refinery performance, its form analogizes to refine a taxonomy of petroleum performances; combustion, petroleum relations, motive power, works and rhetoric about petroleum, petroleum infrastructure and backgrounds, petroleum jurisprudence, and petroleum allegories. The technical description diagrams a parable of petroleum performance saturated with examples from art, industry, and the everyday.
Part two of Petroleum Performances, Pipelining Spacetime, examines how pipelines perform petroleum spacetime. It demonstrates how petroleum and petroleum rhetoric perform and reinforce grand narratives and teleological futures. This petroleum space/time continuum is contrasted with periodic and place-based temporalities of some indigenous jurisdictions. Pipeline Spacetime investigates Patoka terminal, a place full of pipelines through experiences of times and places that refuses pipelines.
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