Table of Con­tents | Arti­cle doi: 10.17742/ IMAGE.PM.13.1.8 | PDF

Crude Futures / After the Ampli­fy Ener­gy Oil Spill Kristin George Bagdanov

Crude Futures” and “After the Amplify Energy Oil Spill”

Kristin George Bagdanov

Maker's statement

A zine is a non­com­mer­cial, non­pro­fes­sion­al, small-cir­cu­la­tion (maga)zine that is made and dis­trib­uted by the zine mak­ers them­selves. Easy access to Xerox machines helped invig­o­rate zine move­ments in the 1980s, though there is a longer his­to­ry in print and DIY cul­ture that con­nects zines to lit­tle mag­a­zines made by mimeo­graph as well as pam­phlets, newslet­ters, and broad­sides. The sim­plic­i­ty and acces­si­bil­i­ty of the zine form means any­one can make one with what­ev­er tools they have avail­able. As a poet­ic form, zines illus­trate the porta­bil­i­ty and socia­bil­i­ty of poems. The form demon­strates the rela­tion­ships that zines cre­ate through cir­cu­la­tion and reproduction.

The two zine poems includ­ed here, “Crude Futures” and “After the Ampli­fy Ener­gy Oil Spill,” explore the fis­sures in our glob­al oil econ­o­my. I made the for­mer in April 2020 after crude oil futures reached a neg­a­tive price for the first time in his­to­ry. The pop-up struc­ture of this zine allows the read­er to cre­ate mul­ti­ple ver­sions of the poem—each future is slight­ly dif­fer­ent from the last. I made the sec­ond zine in Octo­ber 2021 after a pipeline oper­at­ed by Ampli­fy Ener­gy spilled thou­sands of gal­lons of oil (the final quan­ti­ty still pend­ing) off the coast of Cal­i­for­nia. This zine, which flips through a series of words linked by two let­ters, explores the rela­tion­ship between dif­fer­ent forms of life and the sys­tems that shape their abil­i­ty to live. A reversible zine, get­ting to the ‘end’ of the poem means enter­ing the begin­ning of anoth­er. Because I wrote these poems while phys­i­cal­ly shap­ing their forms—writing and revis­ing based on the con­straints of paper, folds, reproducibility—I view the “flat” ver­sions of these zine poems as entire­ly dif­fer­ent poems, re-formed to match the con­straints of tra­di­tion­al book publishing.

After the Amplify Energy Oil Spill

Crude Futures

oil/a future/that has lost/its value/in a world/who fractures/from too much touch/creatures long dead/sheen/the surface/they knew/they know/in the well that was/once/their bone/how this all/already/ends