Screening of Elizabeth Knafo’s Rare Earth, 2014 and Presentation by the Artist, March 7

image of an industrial scene


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Digital Arts Research Center (DARC) 108

From the Mojave desert, to the Pacific seabed, to the surface of the moon, the rush for rare earth minerals is afoot. Rare Earth, 2014, explores the re-opening of an historically toxic rare earth mine in the California desert, and the intensifying land rush for the high-tech minerals across the world. The film is a portrait of changing desert landscapes and the residents who grapple with the impacts of industrial mining. Rare Earth traces the toxic and transformative legacy of treasure hunting in the American West—a legacy of speculation, produced scarcity and the social violence of resource extraction—deepening in our era of global climate change.

Elizabeth Knafo is a filmmaker whose work engages issues of extraction, materialisms, and social and environmental justice in the form documentary film to writing, design and publishing. Knafo recently completed Rare Earth, the first in a trilogy on the geography, geology, and political economies of the Mojave Desert, which also includes the films De Re Metallica (in collaboration with Brigid McCaffrey) and Hall of Mirrors. She has collaborated on Sandy Resources, a printed guide of resources available after Hurricane Sandy with Jesse Goldstein and Occuprint, P.P.S.: Open Letters to Occupy Wall Street, Strike the Prisons, and Textbooks for Texas. Knafo and Goldstein are currently working on a collaborative research and publication project, The Rare Earth Catalog. Knafo completed her MFA at the Hunter Integrated Media Arts department in 2013 and is currently living in Los Angeles.