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Mystery Spot Books,
The Slow Down

Oil shapes our everyday lives. Cars are a large part of this, but so is our food system, the microfibers in our synthetic fabrics, and the personal products we apply to our bodies. From fast food to electronic devices to interstate highways, oil contributes to the speed of our lives. Rarely do we slow down and think through the everydayness of oil.

This project is all about slowing down. Artist-book publisher Mystery Spot Books (Chad Rutter and Emily Roehl) will commandeer a road construction sign to display a series of messages from participants. Through conversation and education, participants will #SlowDown and consider practical ways to live with less of what the construction sign represents – a culture fueled by petrochemicals. People will then be invited to broadcast a simple statement of their decision to #PurgePetro on the construction sign, a one-sentence commitment to say goodbye to one product made possible by petrochemicals for a year.

By asking participants to slow down and extract a small part of their daily lives from oil, this project explores new ways of being at home in the world that do not rely on fossil fuels.


Mystery Spot Books is co founded by Chad Rutter and Emily Roehl.

Chad Rutter is an artist working in a wide range of media exploring themes of place-based experience in the human-altered landscape. In addition to his studio practice, Rutter co-founded the artist-book publishing imprint Mystery Spot Books in 2011, which has exhibited and is distributed internationally.

Emily Roehl is an energy humanities scholar and the co-founder of Mystery Spot Books. Roehl’s research is focused on environmental justice and contemporary art – on the aesthetic strategies of artists and activists who address the unevenly distributed risks of energy development.


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Little Africa - Snelling Ave On the corner of Sherburne Ave and Snelling Ave

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8:59pm - 5:26am



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Chad Rutter
(b.) York, NE
(works) St. Paul, MN
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Emily Roehl
(b.) Omaha, NE
(works) Austin, TX and St. Paul, MN
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