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Sting’s “We Work THE BLACK SEAM”

Steve Loar's avatar Steve Loar

Sting’s “We Work The Black Seam” - Steve Loar A burnished piece of Ebony stands in as the protagonist in this translation of Sting’s 1985 tale of miners of an antiquated coal industry raging against a poisonous nuclear alternative. The song’s up-righteous ire singles out the ecological devastation wrought by radioactive waste while ennobling coal mining in an unsettlingly contemporary manner. While coal jobs have become a vitriolic touch-point, it can be noted that, “There are more professional dancers – 20,000 – in the U.S. than actual coal miners – 15,000. The bowling industry, with 69,000 workers, employs more people than the coal industry, which has 51,000” (Slate.com). The Black Seam was directly choreographed from several particularly evocative phrases of the song and was framed within its dark tones. This is not a happy piece. The wood components are presented with dramatic found textures contrasted against areas that have been symbolically shaped and colored. [Photo credits: Robert Neumann – Big Event Studio] We Work The Black Seam (abridged) - Sting, 1985 This place has changed for good. Your economic theory said it would. It's hard for us to understand. We can't give up our jobs the way we should. Our blood has stained the coal. We tunneled deep inside the nation's soul. One day in a nuclear age, They may understand our rage. They build machines that they can't control, And bury the waste in a great big hole. Power was to become cheap and clean, Grimy faces were never seen, Deadly for twelve thousand years is Carbon 14. We work the black seam together. We work the black seam together. The seam lies underground. Three million years of pressure packed it down. We walk through ancient forest lands, And light a thousand cities with our hands Your dark satanic mills, Have made redundant all our mining skills. You can't exchange a six-inch band, For all the poisoned streams in Cumberland. We work the black seam together. We work the black seam together.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 3-D
  • Depth: 6 inches
  • Medium: Madrone burl, Oregon Redwood burl, Paduak, Oak, Maple, with paint, bleach, carbon
  • Width: 24 inches
  • Year created: 2017
  • Height: 24 inches