Posts Tagged ‘oil’

Oil, photography

April 6, 2013

Following up on Louis Helbig‘s presentation at Edinburgh College of Art comes Suzaan Boettger’s review in Brooklyn Rail of three books of photography of oil landscapes, Burtynsky’s Oil, J. Henry Fair’s The Day After Tomorrow: Images of our Earth in Crisis, and Richard Misrach and Kate Orff’s Petrochemical America.

The review addresses the approaches of the three photographers and comments on their aesthetic and art historical context.  There is a larger piece of work which would encompass, for instance, the also important books by James Marriott/PLATFORM including Next Gulf: London, Washington and the Oil Conflict in Nigeria and The Oil Road: Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London.

These books provide a counterpoint because rather than focusing on the visual in the context of the industrial, they narrate the relationship between the impact on the lives of people living with the oil industry and our lives in London, or Scotland, or wherever and how we are complicit through financial investments, whether that’s JP Morgan Chase or Royal Bank of Scotland.

Social license to operate

December 27, 2011

BP is definitely splashing around the cultural sponsorship – there has been press coverage of the £10 million to cultural majors

in London, and now they are also sponsoring the Cultural Olympiad.

Art Not Oil want artworks for an online exhibition.  Send them before the end of February.

Corporations, Climate and the UN

December 11, 2011

A significant report from the Polaris Institute on corporate influence, documenting the ways that lobbyists infiltrate UN climate change negotiations.

Parallel with PLATFORM‘s work on challenging the ‘social license to operate’ culture, including the recent publication Not If But When, Culture Beyond Oil.

Shell accused of fuelling violence in Nigeria

October 6, 2011

PLATFORM continue to focus on the issues of corporate responsibility for oil conflict in the Niger Delta through their project Remember Saro-WiwaThe Guardian‘s extensive story on a new report by the social and environmental activists highlights the consequences of Shell paying off militia groups to stop them damaging pipelines.  This funds and stimulates conflict with other groups.  Shell periodically changes sides, thus exacerbating the situation.  But Shell are proud that none of this disrupts production, regardless of the number of people who die as a consequence: at least 60 in one incident.

Brief to make KEYSTONE XL an international issue

October 3, 2011

Brief for a campaign extension

Bill McKibben‘s team along with a number of other NGOs and activist groups in the US and Canada have been campaigning to stop Obama signing off the Keystone XL project.  The extension of the Keystone pipeline is a fundamental to the development of tar sands oil.  Tar sands are one of the most polluting forms of oil extraction and only viable because of the approach of peak oil.  We are faced by a choice: get off our addiction to fossil fuels, or continue into even dirtier and more destructive habits.

The Keystone Pipeline and its extension run from up near Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, down to Houston, Texas (see transcanada’s map).  They are literally a throat down the middle of North America with which to feed the addiction.

The Tar Sands Action campaign in the US is well supported and reaches out to a large environmental community, but there is relatively low awareness in other parts of the world.

In an email exchange with members of McKibben’s team it became clear that there was a need for creative and environmentally active people outside the US to create artworks, actions, logos, graffiti and other forms of intervention in order to raise awareness and show solidarity.

Current campaigning in Washington seems to be focused on encircling the White House, visibility at all Obama’s public engagements, securing mass arrests of celebrity figures to maximise news coverage.

If you are interested in responding to this (unofficial) brief then do something.  If you want to, you can send proposals to ecoartscotland.net and also to the Tar Sands Action team, but we’ll just say “get on with it”.

Budget: whatever you can invest in time and materials.

Timescale: sooner the better – 6th November is a key date when it would be good to have some shared plans.

Insurances: none required.

Sights and Sounds of Bitumen Extraction

March 20, 2011

“Changeable Places brings together individuals from different contexts working with stories about particular places of environmental sensitivity.”  The post Sights and Sounds of Bitumen Extraction in Alberta Canada provides a deep exploration of a locality.


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