Break Down Workbook #2 Sonic Meditations: Investigating Petro Subjectivity


Author: Brett Bloom / BKDN BKDN

Publisher: Auburn, IN: Breakdown Break Down Press, 2019
40 pages


This publication provides techniques to investigate your petro-subjectivity. Realizing the degree to which your life—your decisions, sense of self, cultural beliefs, the ways your neural pathways work—relies on petroleum is the only way to understand how it is possible to make fundamental shifts away from petroculture. It is impossible to think and dream the future, and ways to deal with climate breakdown, without first confronting, and mitigating this primary way in which you perceive the world and embody responses to it. You will not be able to get rid of petro-subjectivity in your lifetime—it so thoroughly permeates every aspect of who you are—but you can help lay the ground work for future generations to achieve this.

I wrote at length about the impact of fossil fuels on your sense of self in the book Petro-Subjectivity: De-Industrializing Our Sense of Self. You can download a copy for free here:

In these pages, you find a selection of exercises for the exploration of the ways that fossil fuel shapes your embodied mind, your experiences of the world, the petroleum stored in your body, and your sense of self. Do the exercises by yourself or with others in small groups.

Exercises are drawn from several sources including: the practice of Deep Listening* developed over 40 years by the composer and musician Pauline Oliveros and many others she inspired; the Deep Mapping approach to understanding self and place that Nuno Sacramento and I have articulated in a book together called Deep Mapping; and exercises I have developed combining multiple approaches to meditating and reflecting on petro-subjectivity.