Experiences
of Oil

Experiences of Oil is an online conference which sets out to explore the social, cultural, and emotional aspects brought on by oil and affiliated extractive industries. Bringing together artists, art historians, curators, film makers and visual anthropologists to share their thinking and work. Anyone is welcome to join the talks, lecture performances, digital excursions, film screenings and panels online. This conferene is part of the preparations for an international contermporary art exhibition at Stavanger Art Museum opening in November 2021. Organised by Stavanger Art Museum and Curatorial Practice, Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design at the University of Bergen.

Conference Format

Join Experiences of Oil via the zoom link on the right. Make sure you have the latest version of zoom 5.3.0 or later.

The conference time zone is Central European Time (CET).

The room is open to anyone wishing to contribute to a comfortable, engaging and pleasant place to spend time where conversations and interactions are encouraged, but not mandatory. Stay for the whole or parts of the conference.

Conference language is English. Closed captions will be provided. To show or hide live generated captions in zoom, click Subtitles, show Subtitles.
Technical assistance is offered in English, German, Norwegian and Swedish.

Chat is kept open for direct messages to anyone in the zoom room, including technical staff, moderators and speakers. Please mute yourself when not speaking.

Please use your name, pronouns and, if applicable, institutional affiliation as your display name in Zoom.

For lecture performances we will mute everyone and disable chat to provide a focused space for the artists.


Programme

22.11.
23.11.
24.11.

Welcome to Stavanger

18:00
Commissioned performance for Experiences of Oil, supported by City of Stavanger
Anna Ihle
18:00
Anna Ihle is an artist based in Stavanger. In recent years, she has created works that explore the meaning of labour. Due to this field of interest, she returned to Stavanger in 2016 at a time when the city had undergone major changes due to the drastic drop of oil prices. Ihle has studied at Konstfack in Stockholm, Sweden, and at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India. Her works have been shown at institutions such as Konsthall C, Uppsala Art Museum, The Art Museum in Nord-Trøndelag, Stavanger Art Museum and Fotogalleriet. Recent projects include the exhibition Doggie Day Care with Leo Beagle Boy at Podium, and a series of commissioned podcasts with Addoley Dzegede for The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design. She is currently showing her work Grinding at The Autumn Exhibition at Kunstnernes hus.
For futher references vist Anne Ihles Website

Introduction

18:20
Conference introduction
Hanne Beate Ueland, Director of Stavanger Art Museum
Anne Szefer Karlsen, curator and Professor Curatorial Practice, University of Bergen
Helga Nyman, curator, Stavanger Art Museum
18:20
18:40
Short break
18:40

Keynote

18:45
Geosocial strata and the coupling of worlds
Kathryn Yusoff
18:45
The release of energy from the subterranean open portals in time and the conditions of space. As the wet frictions of oil and gaseous hydrocarbons cross stratigraphic layers new forms of coupling are released, and former earth revolutions energise the social and the plasticity of the surface. The Anthropocene is the name given to the massive destratification of the planet. As a new geologic epoch, it prompts a slew of analysis of the relations between geologic forces and social practices, from the sexualised and gendered forms of petrocapitalism and settler colonialism to the political geologies that organize and capture geoforces as a mode of racialized accumulation. This talk develops a concept of geosocial strata to examine the expression of social forms as a product of geologic forces in the Anthropocene and as the legacy of colonial geo-logics. Geosocial strata, it is argued, are planes of social reproduction that both constrain and enable possible modes of expression, and thus political and subjective freedom. I do not understand this geosocial exchange as a form of environmental determinism, rather as a question and possibility of shared materiality that lock and unlock hierarchical forms of being into place.
Kathryn Yusoff is Professor of Inhuman Geography in the School of Geography at Queen Mary, University of London. Most recently, she is author of A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None, Minneapolis (University of Minnesota Press, 2018), a SI on 'Geosocial Formations and the Anthropocene' (with Nigel Clark) in Theory Culture and Society, 'Epochal Aesthetics' in E-flux, and 'Geologic Life: Inhuman Intimacies and the Geophysics of Race' (forthcoming).
19:30
Response
Dolly Jørgensen
19:30
Dolly Jørgensen is Professor of History, University of Stavanger, Norway, specializing in environmental history and environmental humanities. Her current research agenda focuses on cultural histories of animal extinction, and she recently published the book Recovering Lost Species in the Modern Age: Histories of Longing and Belonging (MIT Press, 2019). She also co-edited Silver Linings: Clouds in Art & Science (Museumsforlaget, 2020), which grew out of a collaboration with Stavanger Art Museum. She is co-editor-in-chief of the journal Environmental Humanities and co-directs The Greenhouse environmental humanities research group at the University of Stavanger.
19:40
Conversation
Kathryn Yusoff and Dolly Jørgensen
19:40

Q&A

19:50
Questions and comments from the audience
19:50
Moderated by Anne Szefer Karlsen and Helga Nyman

End programme

20:00
Thank you for joining the opening of Experiences of Oil live and online!
20:00

Meet & Greet

09:30
Be welcomed by co-facilitators Prem Krishnamurthy and Emily Smith, to settle in for conference day one
09:30

Welcome

09:45
Saganatt (Saga Night)
Marianne Heier
09:45
‘Saga Night’ is a gift from the artist Marianne Heier to Maihaugen, and open-air museum with 200 buildings from different eras. It consists of a stretch of road coated with asphalt in the newer section of the museum. Starting at the point in the exhibit that corresponds to 1968, the year of the first oil discoveries in the North Sea, it runs through the 70s, 80s, and 90s to the House of the Future until the end of the road at the edge of the forest.

Saga Night is about a watershed shift: a radical change that occurred in plain view, but nevertheless seems to represent a blind spot in Norwegian culture and self-perception. The first substantial oil discovery on the Norwegian shelf in the North Sea in 1968 was an event that virtually overnight sent Norway off into a dream-like future for which the country was entirely unprepared. That was the start of the Norwegian Oil Adventure. This story about modern Norway is not primarily about patience, traditions, thriftiness and hard work, but rather about a stroke of luck. The Norwegian wealth is not inheritance passed down through history, but something that we just stumbled upon. Simply put, we were unbelievably lucky.
Marianne Heier (b. 1969) is a visual artist, educated in Milan and Oslo, where she lives and works. Questions related to power distribution, economy and the circulation of value are central throughout her work, with the gift as a recurrent theme. Exploring institutional structures from the inside, she turns the things we often think of as “common sense” upside down and lets other alternatives emerge. The result may be presented as performance, text, installation, or spatial interventions. She often offers her work as gifts to institutions within the art field, thus highlighting and challenging hierarchical conventions and power relationships.
Link to Marianne Heier's Website

09:55
Introduction to Experiences of Oil
Anne Szefer Karlsen and Helga Nyman
09:55

PLATFORM 1 – Uncovering oil narratives

10:10
Platform introduction
Helga Nyman
10:10
10:20
George Osodi and the Photographic Framing of Nigeria's Oil (Mis)Fortune
Iheanyichukwu Onwuegbucha and George Emeka Agbo
10:20
The violent activities of militants dominant the narrative about the oil-related tensions in Niger Delta, Nigeria. George Osodi’s documentary photography project – Paradise Lost: Revisiting the Niger Delta – shows environmental ruin and disruption of socio-economic life as the other side of the story. Paradise Lost remains the most extensive and ambitious photo-documentary on the subject, producing about 200 photographs published in full colour book-catalogue. They were exhibited in 2007 Documenta 12 in Kassel and in 2008 at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos. This paper argues that the photographs fit into the activist context that has over the years marked Nigeria’s history of oil wealth. We analyse Osodi’s negotiation of access to and interaction with his subjects (militants and other members of the community), and his modes of framing them as political acts. Again, through the movement of the militant’s portraits in a traveling exhibition, the militancy has been extended in spatial sense. We follow Wim Wender’s activist reading of photography as the act of directing people’s gaze to social injustice, with the intent of making a change. The ideas we develop contribute from the standpoint of photography to the discussion of how oil may figure as both gain and misfortune.
Iheanyi Onwuegbucha is presently a PhD student in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. His current research interests include post-war art in Nigeria with a focus on the emergence of the Nsukka art school after the Biafra war. His current curatorial project “Archiving the Archive”, includes long-term research and documentation of curatorial archives in Africa. He is a 2016 Chevening Scholar at the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds and Curator (Research) at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (CCA, Lagos).

George Emeka Agbo George Emeka Agbo trained in visual art, museum/heritage and photography history/theory and teaches in the visual art department of University of Nigeria, Nsukka. His research focus is photography as a means to understand the colonial and postcolonial histories of Nigeria. Agbo was a recipient of Andrew Mellon doctoral fellowship (2014-2016), Ivan Karp doctoral research grant (2015), best student paper prize, International African Studies conference, University of Minnesota (2016) and University of Oxford AfoX travel grant (2017). He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, working on the AHRC-funded Museum Affordances/[Re:]Entanglements project.
10:40
Iridescent Ways of Fueling Futures. Engaging with Contemporary Art from the Arabian Peninsula
Laura Hindelang
10:40
This paper explores the situated perspectives and artistic practices of imagining the Arab Gulf states as an "iridescent" projection of the world’s fossil- fueled dystopian development. Yet, these artworks also negotiate and investigate forms of nostalgia and collective memory of the “golden era” of petro-modernity. The promise of petroleum has been fueling imaginaries across Arab oil states since the beginning of its transformation into a globally traded commodity and, particularly, since the beginning of the oil export from the Arab Gulf states in the mid-20th century. Recently, contemporary artists in the Arabian Peninsula such as Monira Al Qadiri have been invoking petro-cultures’ aesthetics and visual power in the Anthropocene to register the disconnectedness between pre-oil and (post-)oil life worlds, the invisibility of petroleum and the everyday absence of the oil-industry-complex in order to reassess official and personal narratives and memories of living oil. Relying on artistic responses to the 20th century image world of petro- modernity that developed in the Gulf and discourses of “Gulf futurism”, I propose the concept of “iridescence” to conceptualize the aesthetic-visual ways in which petroleum invokes a complex value regime of (in)visibility and to investigate the forms of nostalgia and memory that are socially and artistically negotiated at the moment.
Dr. des. Laura Hindelang is a Post-Doc researcher at the Institute of Art History, University of Bern. Her forthcoming book is a transdisciplinary study on Kuwait’s urban visual culture and the (in)visibilities of petroleum. She is a member of the managing committee of Manazir – Swiss Platform for the Study of Visual Arts, Architecture and Heritage in the MENA Region and of Manazir Journal’s advisory board. Currently, she is co-editing a special issue on the past and present of the Gulf region’s urban cultures from a media-historical perspective for the Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication (forthcoming 2022).
11:00
Exposing Oil – Petrofiction in Contemporary Scandinavia
Karl Emil Rosenbæk
11:00
As treads in a tapestry still being woven Karl Emil presents an ongoing exposé of the North Sea oil adventure. In this talk he examines three different contemporary Scandinavian petrofictions: Atle Berge’s Puslinger (2019), Aske Juul Christiansen’s Aftenstjerne (2019) and Solaris korrigert (2004) by Øyvind Rimbereid. Unifying the three is precisely an interest in the oil and gas activities at the North Sea. And from the vantagepoints of past, presence and future, respectively, these texts seem to complement each other in an effort to subvert the official – utopian – imagery of the North Sea oil adventure and expose a more nightmarish connection. Read together in this way they display a 180 degrees rotation of what historian Bob Johnson calls the “Janus-face” of modern Petroculture. Rather than supporting the idea of perpetual prosperity they let us see – with Johnsons words – the “partially concealed, and marginalized, experiences of injured peoples, spiraling penury, and broken ecosystems.”
Karl Emil Rosenbæk is a PhD-student at Department for the Study of Culture, University of Southern Denmark. His PhD is a study of contemporary Scandinavian petrofiction, i.e. literature that un/consciously contemplates oil’s significance in the development of modernity. With his Scandinavian focus, Karl Emil particularly studies how the present ambiguity of green frontierism and continuing oil dependency is being negotiated aesthetically and affectively. That is, how is oil present in fiction, what does it do and how/why does it matter?
11:20
Panel discussion Platform 1
Moderated by Anne Szefer Karlsen and Helga Nyman
11:20

Excursion

11:45
Digital visit to MATHAF: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Qatar
Director Abdellah Karroum
Acting Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs Aisha Abdulla Al Misnad
11:45

Lunch break

12:00
Stay for a chat and a bite, or re-join the conference for the next Platform at 13:00
12:00

PLATFORM 2 – Fuelling image(s)

13:00
Platform introduction
Helga Nyman
13:00
13:15
Oil narratives in museums in Qatar and Kuwait through interpretive films
Lina Patmali
13:15
From its discovery to its preservation, oil is a central element in the history of many nations in the Arabian Gulf. In Qatar and Kuwait, the oil discovery led to a series of political, social, and economic changes that started with the creation of nation states in 1961 for the State of Kuwait and in 1971 for the State of Qatar and culminated with their modernisation. Oil was also the epicentre of conflicts such as the Iraqi Occupation of Kuwait in 1990-1. These narratives are explored in cultural institutions in Qatar and Kuwait. Through interpretive films such as the one exhibited at the Company House in Msheireb Museums in Qatar, the art film The Coming of Oil (2017) by Doug Aitken on display at the National Museum of Qatar, and the multimedia display Heroes of Fire presented at the Ahmad Al-Jaber Oil & Gas Exhibition at the Kuwait Oil Company Visitor Center, institutions stress the importance of oil not only for the countries but also for their communities.
Lina Patmali works as an exhibition researcher at the National Museum of Qatar. She holds an MA in Museum and Gallery Practice from University College London Qatar. She has previously worked on exhibitions in Greece, Italy, and Qatar.
13:35
Can we judge a “book” by its cover? Paintings in the covers of the cultural magazine of Standard Oil of New Jersey’s subsidiaries in Venezuela
María Esperanza Rojo Jiménez
13:35
During the 1930’s the foreign oil companies in Latin America faced challenges such as the nationalization of the industry in some countries. In order to avoid the spreading of a negative opinion towards them, their image needed to be improved. Through a Public Relations Department, Standard Oil of New Jersey decided to participate in the cultural field. One of their activities was the publication of a magazine. Through its subsidiaries in Venezuela, this was published and titled “El Farol”. This study aims to analyze the front covers of this magazine during its first decade of publication (1939-1949). Was oil represented? What image did they show? Why did they choose them? Who were the artists? In its first volumes what prevails are landscaping paintings. At the end of the decade, photography started to appear in its covers, and the oil industry as a theme itself too. By comparing the different themes, artists and the description the own magazine provided about the front cover, we can see intentions and changes in image and speech. This shows how oil, the industry itself and Venezuela was seen or wanted to be seen in this magazine.
María Esperanza Rojo Jiménez is a PhD Candidate at the Universidad de Sevilla with funding from the “VI Plan Propio de Investigación y Transferencia de la US”. She is an Educator and Historian with Diplomas in Contemporary History of Venezuela and in International Cultural Relations. She specialized in Latin American History with a master’s degree from the Universidad de Sevilla. During 2019-2020 she was a Visiting Research Scholar at the University of California-Davis, at Cornell University, and at the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut. She is currently working on a research about the cultural impact of foreign oil companies in Venezuela during the 20th century.
13:55
Aberdeen: Fluidity and friction in the narrative of oil
Rachel Grant
13:55
Since the discovery of oil in the North Sea, oil exploration and development operations transformed the economic, social and political geography of Scotland in general, and Aberdeen in particular. Despite the industrial histories of textile production and granite mining and current industries such as fishing and agriculture, since the restructuring and transformation of urban development in the 1970’s the stick interplays of fossil fuel capitalism have come to define the cultural identity of Aberdeen. Despite the narrative of oil being somewhat fluid in its development the reality of oil’s impact on people and place is more complex. This paper is a study of oil as it unfolds in the socio – economic transformation of Torry, a neighbourhood in Aberdeen South. Once a fishing village, since the oil boom the Torry community has felt the impact of rapid industrial development and forced evictions. In my presentation, I will look to alternative, local community newspapers that sought to critique and make visible the consequences of the industry seeking to disrupt the myth of oil as a kind of heroic cultural agent and to create friction in this established narrative.
Rachel Grant is a freelance curator based in Aberdeen, Scotland. In 2018 she developed Fertile Ground, a platform for her curatorial practice. Fertile Ground takes a context specific, approach, projects primarily focus on new commissions and works with people across backgrounds and disciplines. From 2018 – 2019 she was Co – Shadow Curator for the ‘Curatorial Fellowship’ a pedagogical programme facilitated by Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen. Recent and up and coming projects include; selected participant for the UNIDEE 2020 residency, hosted by Cittadellarte, Biella (Sept – Nov 2020), CRUDE (Oct 2020 – Sept 2021), ‘Speculative fiction: Practicing Collectively’, TOKAS, Tokyo (Dec 2020).
14:15
Panel discussion Platform 2
Moderated by Anne Szefer Karlsen and Helga Nyman
14:15

Excursion

14:40
Digital visit to Norwegian Petroleum Museum, Stavanger, Norway
Bjørn Lindberg, Head of Research and Collection and Anja Fremo, Head of Exhibition and Education
14:40

Break

15:00
15:00

PLATFORM 3: Petropolitical undercurrents

15:10
Platform introduction
Anne Szefer Karlsen
15:10
15:20
Poison’s friend Plastic knows Oil, who’s also friends with Microplankton (queer family)
Clementine Edwards
15:20
In this poetic performance, Clementine Edwards looks for words, gestures and stories that might honour her material-kinship genealogies. Starting with the rodenticide slaughter of a village of rats living below her home, Clementine wants to think through synthetic ancestry, body borders and land justice. If extraction is a socialisation, then how to ‘apprehend’ or be curious about the material and non-material world without appropriation of other, and without affirmation of the systems of violence through which one might come into being? What might radical imagination look like through and with its own burdens of western rationality? Here, world-building and dismantlement are her thought-partners in crime, and the toxic aesthetics of poison, plastic and oil her tools.
Clementine Edwards is a Rotterdam-based artist whose practice is led by sculpture and framed by post-traumatic stress disorder. Her work looks at how certain experiences and relationships might be enriched and expanded through material and at the reproductive potential of non-sentient materials. Her ongoing research line is material kinship, which she locates in the context of climate colonialism. The editor of countless books, in 2021 Clementine will publish her first book as author. The Material Kinship Reader is co-edited by Kris Dittel.
Artist's www-page: Clementine Edwards
15:40
Black Gold to Dust: visualising narratives and slow violence
Roshini Kempadoo
15:40
Like Gold Dust (2019), evokes narratives about everyday survival, economics, and special powers needed for the 21st century. Its starting point are women narratives from two terrains, Guyana[1] and Texas, to explore relationships between environments and present life. They are Wynter suggests, ‘hybrid-auto-instituting-languaging-storytelling species,’ narrating themselves into existence. Sviolence (Nixon, 2011) recognises efforts by writers, activists and artists including Wynter, Da Silva, Roy, Maathai and Saro-Wiwa who rethink environmental activism for a planetary future. They enact responses to pernicious violations to the terrain and life experiences, particularly those who are disempowered and involuntarily displaced, caused by ecological neglect, corporate greed and colonial aftermath.

[1] In May 2015 ExxonMobil announced the discovery of more than 90 metres of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs about 200 km off its coastline. The Liza-1 well would make it worth $40 billion at today’s international crude price. The oil and gas exploration activity by Guyana has been a source of tension with neighbouring Venezuela. ExxonMobil followed by discoveries of further oil fields. ExxonMobil and Hess reported that new discoveries contain estimated resources exceeding 4 billion barrels of oil equivalent, potentially producing 750,000 barrels per day by 2025. The value of oil dwarfs the roughly $3 billion gross domestic product of Guyana. As Exxon continues development, the small nation is likely looking at a windfall in royalties. For a country of less than a million people, the find changes everything. Within a decade Guyana could be completely transformed by the find going from unpaved roads and sporadic power to being a major oil and gas producing nation.
As a media artist, photographer and scholar, Roshini Kempadoo creates artworks that interpret and re-imagine experiences of the particular and everyday. She evokes women’s perspectives, through fictional writings, photographs, recordings, music, interactivity and networked environments. Roshini’s situated feminist and anti-racist perspective represents issues that are less visible, underrepresented or unsaid. Recent work includes: Like Gold Dust, Artpace International Artist-in-Residence (IAIR), San Antonio, 2019; India: Contemporary Photographic and New Media Art, Fotofest Biennial, Houston 2018; Creating Interference investigating contemporary artworks as creative responses of memories and historical narratives 2018; Creole in the Archive: Imagery, Presence and Location of the Caribbean Figure, 2016 and currently exhibiting Mooove[s]… In solidarity in Thirteen Ways of Looking, Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry.
Thirteen Ways of Looking (October – December 2020): https://www.theherbert.org/whats_on/1533/thirteen_ways_of_looking Creole in the Archive: Imagery, Presence and the Location of the Caribbean Figure: https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781783482207/Creole-in-the-Archive-Imagery-Presence-and-the-Location-of-the-Caribbean-Figure Creating Interference: www.creatinginterference.net Artist’s website: roshinikempadoo.com Artpace, San Antonio https://www.artpace.org/exhibitions/iair/iair_spring_2019
16:00
Stories from the Petroleum Space-Time Continuum: Two Ponds
Brett Bloom
16:00
My book Petro-Subjectivity: De-Industrializing Our Sense of Self explores the impacts of fossil fuel use on your sense of self and the world around you. Petro-Subjectivity comes from identifiable processes in numerous daily situations. Your Petro-Subjectivity arises from spatial and temporal relationships to the world around you. The set of conditions that produce Petro-Subjectivity are disorienting and abstracting. The term I have been using for this is the Petroleum Space-Time Continuum (PSTC). It is not an actual place, rather a set of relationships that overlap and filter reality, when you are experiencing any given place and time. The conditions are repeated everywhere you go when you are using, or being impacted by, the systemic use of extractive fuels. They are so powerful that they are present in your metaphorical descriptions—and in the metaphorical formation of your neural pathways. This presentation investigates the degrees to which the use of fossil fuel has fundamentally structured the built environment and how humans experience space and time. It does so by looking at two ponds, cultural artifacts, and the radically divergent intentions behind them.
Brett Bloom (he/his/him) is an artist, environmentalist, and publisher. Bloom is a trained Deep Listening facilitator and uses sonic meditations to explore human ecological entanglement in forests, prairies, swamps, and urban settings. Bloom works to rewild landscapes and human sense of self through land conservation and his Deep Listening practice. He is working towards post-oil culture, which will take generations to achieve. Bloom is based in land that is the traditional home of the Myaamia, Potawatomi, and Peoria peoples (NE Indiana, USA).
16:20
Panel discussion Platform 3
Including Ala Younis, moderated by Anne Szefer Karlsen and Helga Nyman
16:20

Exploration

16:45
Al Bahithūn [the (re)searchers]
Ala Younis
16:45
Al Bahithūn [the (re)searchers] investigates oil as an engine for knowledge production, exploring the impact that its nationalization in Iraq had on intellectual and academic life there. The research is titled after a 1978 Iraqi film in which a group of men are hired to journey south in search of oil. Compelled by a myth about a lost treasure-filled paradise, two men defect to search for it. After much adventure, they stumble upon the Rumaila oil fields, which Saddam Hussein had nationalized six years earlier, the real promised land, whose riches, now entirely under Iraqi control, far exceed those of myth. The film mythologizes oil in the service of a renewed nationalism; the citizen is no longer just a passive beneficiary of oil revenues but is integral to its generation. Through the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88) and after, as paranoia grew, national research incentives gave way to more overt and sinister forms of coercion, eventually leading to the targeted assassinations of many researchers after the fall of Saddam. Using video, archival materials and digital sculptures, this presentation illustrates the complexities of building up of local knowledge facilitated by oil profits; i.e. technical and industrial oil expertise as a national asset.
Research forms a big part of Ala Younis' art practice which deal with collective experiences that collapse into personal ones, and with how the archive plays on predilections and how its lacunas and mishaps manipulate the imagination. Her work was presented in solo shows in Amman, London, Seville, Sharjah, Dubai and New York, at Biennials of Venice, Istanbul, Gwangju, Ural, and Orleans. In 2013, she curated Kuwait’s national pavilion at Venice Biennale, and co-founded the publishing initiative Kayfa ta. She is a member of the Advisory Board of Berlinale’s Forum Expanded and of Academy of Arts of the World (Cologne).

Cocktail hour

17:00
Join moderators Anne Szefer Karlsen and Helga Nyman, and co-facilitators Prem Krishnamurthy and Emily Smith for an informal conversation at the end of conference day one
17:00
Summing up the day's event and a space for socialising

End programme

17:30
Thank you! See you tomorrow!
17:30
Born in Constantine in 1977, Bahïa Bencheikh-El-Fegoun now lives in Algiers. A geologist by training, she entered the world of cinema in 2003. After working for five years as a technician and assistant on several co-productions, in 2008 she took a course in documentary writing at the Varan workshops in Paris, and went on to join the Bejaïa Doc studio where she wrote her first short, “C’est à Constantine”. Her work strives to re-establish the individual in the centre of a society that seems, however, to ignore it. At the heart of contemporary political and social issues, her films examine the dehumanisation of debates, offering a fresh, more intimate response to societies’ evolution.

Asynchronous screening

Dream Fragments (2017)
Bahïa Bencheikh-El-Fegoun
Please find a link and password to the film below Bahïa Bencheikh-El-Fegoun's bio to the right.

Dream Fragments is screened during Experiences of Oil as a companion to Natasha Marie Lloren's talk 'Dreams of The People, by The People, for The People: Algerian filmmaker Bahïa Bencheikh-El-Fegoun’s “Dream Fragments"' in Platform 5 on Tuesday at 13:20.

A rich land economically and culturally, Algeria fluctuates today between despair and the hope of a new beginning. Then there is a series of suicides at the heart of society. The coast and the sea. Images flow into and over each other poetically like a Fata Morgana. From mubi.com
Born in Constantine in 1977, Bahïa Bencheikh-El-Fegoun now lives in Algiers. A geologist by training, she entered the world of cinema in 2003. After working for five years as a technician and assistant on several co-productions, in 2008 she took a course in documentary writing at the Varan workshops in Paris, and went on to join the Bejaïa Doc studio where she wrote her first short, “C’est à Constantine”. Her work strives to re-establish the individual in the centre of a society that seems, however, to ignore it. At the heart of contemporary political and social issues, her films examine the dehumanisation of debates, offering a fresh, more intimate response to societies’ evolution.
Film on Vimeo
password: REVENG
One Image, Two Acts​ (یک تصویر، دو برداشت /Yek Tasveer, Do Bardasht; available in HD, Apple ProRes & DCP, 44 minutes, 2017-2020)
Sanaz Sohrabi
Please find a link and password to the film below Sanaz Sohrabi's bio to the right.

One Image, Two Acts is screened during Experiences of Oil as a companion to Sanaz Sohrabi's talk 'Infrastructures of Time and Archives of the Future: Visual Regimes of oil and Colonial Petromodernity in Iran' in Platform 5 on Tuesday at 13:00.

One Image, Two Acts unravels the multifaceted and intertwined systems of oil infrastructures spanned and accumulated across unlikely geographies and material temporalities. Examining the photographic and film archives of British Petroleum (BP) during its operations in Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait, this film traces the visual and media infrastructures through which oil has operated as an agent of power in the colonial episteme. It unpacks BP’s widespread construction of cinemas in the oil towns of South-Western Iran and follows the transformation of this emergent image economy in contouring the nationalization movement and the anti-colonial cinema between 1950-1980 in Iran. This film examines the ways in which the oil company’s visual regimes of petro-modernity were reclaimed and countered by a growing anti-colonial cinema in which oil was a protagonist and cinemas had become the contested emblem of colonial development.

With a particular focus on the historical ethnographic film and photographic surveys produced by the BP, ​One Image, Two Acts ​unpacks the formations of early modernist infrastructures of leisure such as cinemas vis-à-vis the broader social engineering project and asymmetries of power in the oil towns of South-Western Iran. Reading the Iranian New Wave cinema against the backdrop of growing raw material sovereignty and nationalization movement, this film analyzes two integral films of this period, namely “A Fire” by Ebrahim Golestan (1961) and Amir Naderi’s “The Runner” (1984). It reframes oil not solely as an exchangeable commodity but rather as an archive itself; one that constitutes a web of imaginations, aspirations, and struggles. One Image, Two Acts ​is a coalescence of infrastructures, images, and archives of oil wherein cinematic time and geological time mobilize different sites, temporalities, and numerous material modalities.
Sanaz Sohrabi (b. Tehran) is an essayist, artist and Fonds de Recherche du Québec Société et Culture (FRQSC) doctoral fellow at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture in Montréal. Sohrabi has been awarded fellowships and residencies from Forum Transregionale Studien, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Est-Nord-Est résidence d’artistes, and Vermont Studio Center, among others. Sohrabi’s works have been exhibited and screened internationally at RIDM Montreal’s International Documentary Film Festival, Videonale 16 Bonn, European Media Arts Festival, Fiva 06 Buenos Aires, Images festival, Centre Clarke Montreal, and Beirut Art Center.

One image, Two Acts
Password: stavanger (available to use until the end of the conference 17:30 CET Tuesday 24 November 2020)
Film on Vimeo
password: stavanger

Meet & Greet

09:00
Be welcomed by co-facilitators Prem Krishnamurthy and Emily Smith, to settle in for conference day two
09:00

Check-ins

09:15
Those that are interested in meeting other conference participants to check in, will be distributed to breakout rooms of 5–7 folks
09:15

Reflections and welcome

09:30
Preliminary reflections on the Monday programme
Anne Szefer Karlsen and Helga Nyman
09:30
09:45
exploration: exploiting energy often involves exploiting people
Fiona Clark with community contributors:
Members of Friends of the Waitara River Ngaa Hoa o te Muriwai o Waitara and mana whanua indigenous people (Māori)
Ray Watembach – Historian
Robbie Taylor – Ngati Uenuku
Pikikore Andrea Moore – Ngati Kura
09:45
The oil and gas industry ramped up its activities in Taranaki, New Zealand in the 1980’s with a catch-cry - “Think Big” – making large investments in sponsorship and greening up of the Arts. Despite the need to frack, drill and exploit - many of us have lived independently. In December 2017 Mount Taranaki, was given " legal personality status “ making it eligible to enjoy same legal rights as a person. Taranaki Mountain has watched over our history of colonisation. We re-imagine community options and we reduce consumption and share the resources. We redefine our entities. “Humankind is challenged, as it has never been challenged before, to prove its maturity and its mastery ( ?) – Not of nature, but of itself. “. Rachel Carson 1962. - Silent Spring.

To Present - An Online video internet presentation.
From Waitara town– members of Friends of Waitara River Inc. -  Nga hoa pirir o te muriwai o Waitara – & mana whanua indigenous people (Māori) who have historic and territorial rights over the land will  talk about what we do to survive and undertake our independence & the economic consequences of the oil & gas industry.
Fiona Clark is a lens-based artist from Taranaki. She graduated from the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 1975. Clark’s photographs relate to significant local social histories, often investigating the politics of gender, identity and the body. Clark is also a central member of Friends of Waitara River Inc., an environmental organisation that campaigns to protect the quality of water in Waitara River and the immediate surrounding areas. Clark lives and works in Tikorangi, Taranaki, Aotearoa/New Zealand. Tikorangi is surrounded by the most intensive oil & gas activities in New Zealand.

PLATFORM 4 – Formations of experiences

10:05
Platform introduction
Anne Szefer Karlsen
10:05
10:15
Tropical Curse
Ana Alenso
10:15
After a century of oil exploitation, a conglomerate of conflicts and paradoxes, ideas of progress and destruction have permeated the minds of the Venezuelan people. Oil has been the protagonist of many political discourses, and the lubricant of many geopolitical relations and power struggles. The vulnerable, almost amnesiac, state of the nation is presented as yet another symptom of the so-called resource curse. What remains is a ruined panorama composed of the absurd and disparate development of economic, political, anthropological and cultural events, which have become the basis of my artistic research. Through documentary images, videos and texts, my work will take on a transversal and speculative journey around the petro-cultural imaginary of contemporary Venezuela.
Ana Alenso is a Venezuelan artist living in Berlin, Germany. Working with sculpture, photography, installation, sound and video, her work builds an allegorical cosmos showcasing the economic, social and ecological risks and imbalances that are implicit in natural resource extractive practices. Her work has been exhibited in several spaces and institutions in Europe and Latin America. She holds an MFA in Art in Context from the Berlin University of Arts (2015), an MFA in Media Art & Design from Bauhaus University Weimar (2012) and an BA from Armando Reverón Arts University in Venezuela (2004).
10:35
Is Data the New Gas?
Oleksiy Radynski
10:35
Given the overwhelming importance of oil in the twentieth-century economy, political and economic theorists have given this kind of fossil fuel a great deal of attention. In many cases, this scrutiny is informed by the notion of the “oil curse,” that is, the tendency of oil-rich states to evolve into autocracies: internally oppressive, externally aggressive, and overall inefficient. This notion has of course been unfavorably applied to Russia and the fossil fuel lobby that is running the country, along with Iran, Venezuela, Nigeria, and other states “cursed by oil.” In Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil, Timothy Mitchell exposes the limitations of the “oil curse” theory. Mitchell’s book seeks to answer a critical question: “Can we follow the carbon itself, the oil, so as to connect the problem afflicting oil-producing states to other limits of carbon democracy?”. As natural gas overtakes oil’s previous status as the most important fossil fuel of the current century, this inquiry should be extended. Will oil-based liquid modernity make way for a data-based, gaseous postmodernity? This presentation is an attempt to “follow the carbon itself,” by tracing and collaging its various footprints within histories of ideas, technology, and popular culture, in an effort to grasp the evasive substance of natural gas through the no-less-evasive field of the social imagination—informed by the Cold War and the current geopolitical attempts at its reenactment.
Oleksiy Radynski is a filmmaker and writer based in Kyiv. His films have been screened at Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), DOK Leipzig, bar laika and the Kmytiv Museum, among other venues, and received awards at a number of film festivals. He gave talks and presentations at Berlinale Forum Expanded, Museum of Modern Art (New York), International Studio and Curatorial Program (New York), Shtab (Bishkek), Stroom Den Haag, and Architectural Association (London). His texts have been published in Proxy Politics: Power and Subversion in a Networked Age (Archive Books, 2017), Art and Theory of Post-1989 Central and East Europe: A Critical Anthology (MoMA, 2018), Being Together Precedes Being (Archive Books, 2019) and in e-flux journal. After graduating from Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, he studied at Home Workspace Program (Ashkal Alwan, Beirut). He was a 2019-2020 BAK Fellow at basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht.
10:55
Undoing the Non-experience of Fossil Fuels in the Settler Colony
Rachel O’Reilly
10:55
The deliberative governance of modern nations has been entirely dependent on specific energy formations – first coal, then oil, then gas – that produce simultaneously war, corruption, and racialised zones of toxic inequality. Timothy Mitchell’s work makes a particular point of observing the diminishment of worker’s regulatory power over these fuel transitions. In settler colonies like Australia, where European laws of property and rights ‘hit the ground' in white supremacy, colonial science, and racialized zones of toxicity, 'sacrifice' and inequality, how can we think through the undoing of energy nationalism and imperialism through the European settler subject’s non-experience of Fossil capital's destructiveness? And what does this have to do with the European model of artistic autonomy that globalized? This talk with raise questions for art and politics in the context of the very clear limits of a workerist optic, but also new kinds of ab-use in the neoliberal era, of modernist labour and mine images by extractive industry investment imaginaries.
Rachel O’Reilly is a writer, artist, curator and Phd candidate at Goldsmiths’ Centre for Research Architecture, and leads the seminar 'At the Limits of the Writerly' on infrastructure and aesthetics as part of the How to Do Things with Theory program at the Dutch Art Institute. Recent curatorial and editorial collaborations include Planetary Records: Performing Justice between Art and Law,Contour Biennale 2017; Ex-Embassy at the Former Australia Embassy to the GDR, 2018; On Neutrality, Non-Aligned Modernisms book series, MCA, Belgrade; and Feminist Takes on Black Wave Film, Sternberg Press. Since 2013, her project The Gas Imaginary has used poetry, installation, drawings, film and public lectures to mediate the technical and legal conceits of ‘unconventional’ gas expansions in settler colonial space. The final feature length installation from this series INFRACTIONS 2019, commissioned by KW Berlin, platforms First Nations fighting shale gas threats to 50% of the Northern Territory of Australia. It premieres and tours in Australia with the IMA in 2020-21.
11:15
Panel discussion Platform 4
Moderated by Anne Szefer Karlsen and Helga Nyman
11:15

Lunch

11:40
Lunch break from 11:40 to 12:30
11:40
During lunch everyone is encouraged to see the film 'Oilers' (2016, approx 29 mins) by Anne Marthe Dyvi and Massimiliano Mollona as a preparation to Platform 5. It will be screened from 11:40.

PLATFORM 5 – Oil Workers

12:30
Platform introduction
Anne Szefer Karlsen
12:30
12:40
On Oilers
Part 1: 'On plenty and scarcity and how oil precarizes and dehumanize labour', Massimiliano Mollona
Part 2: 'I am the oil sector. Narration and dramaturgy in a social democratic oil state', Anne Marthe Dyvi
Anne Marthe Dyvi and Massimiliano Mollona
12:40
In this talk Anne Marthe Dyvi and Massimiliano Mollona discuss their view on oil and labour through their experience of making Oilers (2016), a film that follows the making of an oil platform over one year, paying particular attention to the increasing precariousness of the workers, as the economic crisis hit the oil industry. The film was part of 'The End of Oil project' - a parafictional exploration of the future of Norway without oil - developed by Mollona for the Bergen Assembly. Oilers weaves together aesthetics and politics, to unveil emphatically, both the material and experiential dimensions and the uncertain future of oil labour. As the c-19 has accelerated the process of fossil fuel disinvestment, the future of oil workers is even more uncertain.
Anne Marthe Dyvi (born 1979) is an interdisciplinary artist educated and based in Bergen, Norway. She graduated from The Bergen Academy of Art and Design with an MFA in 2010. Her work can often be described as interdisciplinary, site-specific and process-orientated, and with a special interest for technology and time, human existence, survival or behaviour. Dyvi has exhibited in several parts of Norway, Sweden, Italy, Slovakia, England, Germany, Estonia, Iceland, Denmark and Lithuania. Several works are included in the collection of KODE (Bergen art museum), Stavanger art museum, Bergen city council, Vestland county and KORO. She was a part of the resource group developing a national archive for video arts in Norway for the Arts Council, Videokunstarkivet. In addition to her own practice as an artist, she is a member of the artist group Ytter, and has worked as artistic developer at the Bergen Centre for Electronic Art 2010-2019, and the constituted director for one year. From 2020 she is the board leader for Atelier Nord in Oslo.

Massimiliano (Mao) Mollona is a writer, filmmaker, and anthropologist. He is senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology, at Goldsmiths College, London. He has a multidisciplinary background in economics and anthropology and his work focuses on the relationship between art and political economy. He conducted extensive fieldwork in Italy, the UK, Brazil, and Norway, in economic and artistic institutions, with specific focus on work, class and post-capitalist politics, and with a methodology that combines pedagogy, artistic prefiguration and activism. He is a member of the collective freethought, and co-founder and president of the Institute of Radical Imagination (IRI) a collective of curators, artists and activist whose aim is to imagine and implement post-capitalist forms of art and life. He was Director of the Athens Biennale 2015–2017, and with Freethought, co-director of the Bergen Assembly, 2016.
Artist's www-page:Anne Marthe Dyvi
13:00
Infrastructures of Time and Archives of the Future: Visual Regimes of oil and Colonial Petromodernity in Iran
Sanaz Sohrabi
13:00
The establishment of Iran’s petroleum industrial complex in 1908 is entangled with the formation of media and visual infrastructures which propelled and sustained new ideologies and modes of identification with the emergent colonial modernity in Iran. Between 1908-1951, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) -currently British Petroleum (BP)- strategically utilized ethnographic film and photography production to promote and represent its colonial developments in Iran. By conducting a visual ethnography of oil and with a particular focus on the historical ethnographic film and photographic archives produced by the BP, I look at the aesthetic production of oil in the nexus of labour, ideas of ​leisure and ​desire​, and the formations of social spaces in South West of Iran. The proliferation of cinemas as recreational spaces in the oil towns of Iran was entangled with the emergence of new publics of value and media consumer culture as well as a growing realization of class-based divisions of urban and social amenities. During this time, image making and construction of space worked concurrently to mobilize and enact the many possible futures of petromodernity. My project thus aims to reconstruct a visual narrative of oil wherein we can map and connect the early modernist infrastructures such as cinemas, swimming pools, and social clubs to the broader colonial sociocultural ideals and aspirations.
Sanaz Sohrabi (b. Tehran) is an essayist, artist and Fonds de Recherche du Québec Société et Culture (FRQSC) doctoral fellow at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture in Montréal. Sohrabi has been awarded fellowships and residencies from Forum Transregionale Studien, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Est-Nord-Est résidence d’artistes, and Vermont Studio Center, among others. Sohrabi’s works have been exhibited and screened internationally at RIDM Montreal’s International Documentary Film Festival, Videonale 16 Bonn, European Media Arts Festival, Fiva 06 Buenos Aires, Images festival, Centre Clarke Montreal, and Beirut Art Center.
13:20
Dreams of The People, by The People, for The People: Algerian filmmaker Bahïa Bencheikh-El-Fegoun’s “Dream Fragments"
Natasha Marie Llorens
13:20
“Dream Fragments” is a short documentary by Algerian filmmaker Bahia Bencheickh El Fegoun composed of interviews, footage of various protests in Algeria shot from cell phones and distributed through social media networks and panning shots of Algerian landscape seen from the road to the south of the country where the oil and gas production is located. Algeria is the largest country in Africa, yet little is known about its history either before or after its independence from French colonial rule in 1962, including the fact that it holds the fifth-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and significant reserves of high-quality crude oil. Its wealth in resources is an important factor in its ability to isolate itself politically and economically, as well as the foundation for the power of the ruling class of oligarchs. “Dream Fragments” presents a crucial visual pre-history to protests that later rocked the country and deposed the fourth term president Abdelaziz Bouteflika in 2019. One of these fragments is centered on a young activist who works in the oil fields. This paper will read his story and Bencheickh El Fegoun’s work more broadly as an attempt to loosen an authoritarian control over the image of an oil-rich society, and particularly its monopoly on the representation of “the people” of Algeria.
Natasha Marie Llorens is a Franco-American independent curator and writer. She recently curated Waiting for Omar Gatlato: A Survey of Contemporary Art from Algeria and Its Diaspora at the Wallach Art Gallery and edited the first English-language anthology on Algerian and Franco-Algerian aesthetics in conjunction with the exhibition. A graduate of the MA program at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard, Llorens is currently finishing a Ph.D. at Columbia University focused on five experimental films from the 1960s and 70s in Algeria. She is Professor of Art and Theory at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm.
Speaker's www-site:Natasha Marie Llorens
13:40
Panel discussion Platform 5
Moderated by Anne Szefer Karlsen and Helga Nyman
13:40

Breakout rooms

14:05
An opportunity to discuss platforms 1–5 in separate breakout rooms with some of the contributors and fellow audience members
14:05

Break

14:25
A very short technical break before the final Platform
14:25

PLATFORM 6 – Oil in Visual Art

14:30
Platform introduction
Helga Nyman
14:30
14:40
Nigeria: Crude Oil and Corruption Reserves
Ayọ̀ Akínwándé
14:40
This paper examines the impact of crude oil on the economy, environment, and the electorates, through the works of three Nigerian visual artists, working across performance, photography and painting. The starting point for this presentation is a performance piece “Ogoni Clean-up,” which I enacted on 13th March 2020 at one of the oil-polluted waters in the Ogoniland area of the Niger Delta, and which critiques the Nigerian government’s oil pollution clean up exercise. I will also look into the photographic works of George Oshodi across the oil region, and a selection of oil paintings on environmental issues from the archives of Jerry Buhari. Nigeria has about 159 oil fields and 1,481 wells, with a maximum crude oil production capacity of 2.5 million barrels per day. Oil accounts for 60% of the government revenue and 90% of its foreign exchange, and it is also the basis of the country’s problems. While a great deal has been written about the Niger Delta oil crisis, this paper contributes to these conversations through the works of these Nigerian visual artists. Taking the audience through the process of making these works, and learning about their first-hand accounts, through the body, the camera, and the canvass.
Ayọ̀ Akínwándé is an artist, activist, curator, and writer from Lagos. With an academic training in Architecture, his oeuvre is engineered towards a social critique of the built environment. He works across lens-based media, sculpture, installation, sound, and performance. Akínwándé co-curated the inaugural 2017 Lagos Biennial. His works, and art writings have been featured in publications around the world. In 2019, he presented solo exhibitions in Nigeria, Scotland, and Cuba for the 13th Bienal De La Habana. Akínwándé is a recipient of the 2020 Edith-Russ-Haus Media Art Award, and the 2019 Place Publique prize by the Fonderie Darling, Montréal.
15:00
In Poor Taste? The Role of Kitsch in UAE Art Practice
Melissa Gronlund
15:00
This paper focuses on kitsch and vernacular in the UAE art world. Though both are set in opposition to the reigning Conceptual, international style of contemporary art, they perform different roles: the use of an Emirati or Bedouin vernacular is marshaled to support national narratives, while kitsch has been used knowingly by artists such as Farah Al Qasimi, Lantian Xie, and the collective the GCC to signal globalisation and the lived experience of the Gulf. Taking an international focus, and using Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities, I also wish to suggest that the cultural development of oil-rich nations offers a different trajectory than the imperialism-rich or colonialism-rich countries Anderson discusses. This is on the part of geopolitical standing, which is affected by sovereign wealth, as much as languages, where the Gulf’s multi-lingualism – and non-autochthonic main language of English – disrupts the role that Anderson gives to language in forming a nationalist imagined community. I will argue that this split between one form of nationalism and a new form of imagined globalism is borne out in the two competing vernacular styles of kitsch and heritage art in the UAE.
Melissa Gronlund is a writer based in London. She was previously the art correspondent for The National in Abu Dhabi, and her writing has appeared in The Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, Artforum, Art Agenda, and Afterall journal, as well as in peer-review journals and as chapter contributions to academic publications. Originally from New York City, she studied Comparative Literature at Princeton University, in New Jersey, and Film Aesthetics at Oxford University. She is the author of Contemporary Art and Digital Culture (Routledge, 2016), which explores the relationship of contemporary art to the internet and digital technologies. From 2007–2014 she lectured on contemporary art at Oxford University, the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art, and co-edited Afterall, based in London.
15:20
"Petroliana" at the Moscow Biennial 2007
Elena Sorokina (with the assistance of Ella Strowel)
15:20
Elena Sorokina will present her exhibition “Petroliana”, which took place in 2007 as a special project of the Moscow Biennial, and its reception in the media. “Petroliana” developed from the “Crude Oil Paintings” (2004), one of the first exhibitions addressing the end of oil and its effects on the modern mindset of the extractivism, curated by Sorokina at White Columns in New York. Starting from depletion and energy-addiction, “Petroliana” explored the effects of oil in the context of the post-Soviet Russia. After the demise of the Soviet Union, oil raised to an unparalleled visibility as a delirious commodity, symbol of an unprecedented unjust distribution of wealth, new riotous lifestyles for some and disastrous adventures and environmental catastrophes for others. The exhibition also addressed the shit in oil mythologies created in film, media, and art. The canonical Socialist Realism often used petroleum to represent work and workers, as oil rigs and pipelines served as appropriate landscape for their heroic actions. This emphasis on production and what Susan Buck-Morss canned “perverse ecstasy of labour” rapidly mutated into the frantic commodity consumption and fossil energy addiction. Like the industrial extractivism of the 20th century, avidly mythologized by both former East and former West, oil had completely exhausted its utopian potential.

Participants: Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri, Armageddon (Film),Art not Oil, Justin Beal, Ursula Biemann, BP, Ilya Budraitskis and Maria Kurzina, Sergei Bugaev Afrika, Bureau d’Etudes, Heidi Cody, Christopher Draeger, Yevgeniy Fiks, Anton Ginzburg, Johan Grimonprez and Charlotte Lеouzon, Ilya Kitup, Elena Kovylina, Jan Kopp, Demian Kuleshov, Ellen K. Levy, Armin Linke, Erbosyn Meldibekov, Jason Middlebrook, Andrey Molodkin, Antony Muntadas, Ivan Navarro, Ahmet Ogüt, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Oliver Ressler and Dario Azzellini, REP Group, Oksana Shatalova and Alla Girik, Wael Shawky, Pavel Shepelev, Sean Snyder, Matthew Suib, David Ter-Oganyan, The Yes Men
Elena Sorokina is curator and art historian, she was curator of the HISK (High Institute of Fine Arts, Belgium) 2017-2018. Between 2015-2017 she was curatorial advisor of documenta 14 in Athens/Kassel. Her upcoming project "Crystal Clear. An Attempt of Sustainable Exhibition Making" opens in December at the Pera Museum Istanbul. Her recent projects include: "Initiative for Practices and Visions of Radical Care" co-founded with Natasa Petresin-Bachelez, “Variations on Vulnerability (Slow Compositions Between Six and Midnight)” at BOZAR, Brussels; “Mystic Properties” at Art Brussels; Museum (Science) Fictions at Centre Pompidou, Paris; and others.
15:40
Panel discussion Platform 6
Including Laura Napier, moderated by Anne Szefer Karlsen and Helga Nyman
15:40

Break

16:05
A very short technical break before the final Platform
16:05

Exploration

16:15
Sea of Oil
Laura Napier
16:15
Video transcript

The Sea of Oil lecture-performance investigates the political, material, economic, environmental, and cultural dimensions posed by promotional objects collected from the oil and gas industry. This examination utilizes Donna Haraway’s implosion method tools, as written about by cultural anthropologist Joseph Dumit. This research is also informed by de Certeau's Practice of Everyday Life, through examining how objects are repurposed by their owners. The process also mirrors artistic critique. Sea of Oil focuses on places where oil, gas, and petrochemical industries are embedded, tracing visual and narrative social cultures. Gathering stories and objects through personal exchange, the project looks at how oil and gas cultures intersect with everyday life, as we are faced with massive, global climate change. This performance will visually consider an Exxon Mobil mug found in a Houston thrift store bearing a map of Saudi Arabia with the year 2001; and a novelty USB drive, concealed within a miniature polymer ship, imprinted with the Diamond Offshore company name and logo. Diamond Offshore declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy under US law in late April 2020.
Laura Napier is an interdisciplinary artist and educator working in Houston, Texas (US). Napier produces projects exploring behavior, sociology, and place through participatory and collaborative works. Recent installations, video, and performances presented with Solar Studios at Rice University (Houston, TX); Petrocultures at University of Glasgow (UK); and CULTURE/SHIFT, U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (Albuquerque, NM), in collaboration with Jessica Lorena Rangel and Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services. She is a participant in the Creative Climate Leadership programme, led by Julie’s Bicycle, UK with international collaborators. Napier lectures in photography, video and performance with Sam Houston State University (Huntsville, TX).

Sea of Oil
Video transcript
16:35
Summing up the conference together
16:35

Coctail hour

17:00
Join moderators Anne Szefer Karlsen and Helga Nyman, and co-facilitators Prem Krishnamurthy and Emily Smith for an informal conversation at the end of conference day one.
17:00

End programme

17:30
Thank you for joining Experiences of Oil!
17:30

Credit

Contributors

Opening night
Performance: Anna Ihle, artist
Keynote: Kathryn Yusoff, Professor of Inhuman Geography in the School of Geography at Queen Mary, University of London
Respondent: Dolly Jørgensen, Professor of History and co-director of The Greenhouse environmental humanities research group at the University of Stavanger

Conference days
Iheanyichukwu Onwuegbucha/George Emeka Agbo, Ayọ̀ Akínwándé, Ana Alenso, Bahïa Bencheikh-El-Fegoun, Brett Bloom, Fiona Clark, Massimiliano Mollona/Anne Marthe Dyvi, Clementine Edwards, Rachel Grant, Melissa Gronlund, Marianne Heier, Laura Hindelang, María Esperanza Rojo Jiménez, Roshini Kempadoo, Natasha Marie Llorens, Laura Napier, Lina Patmali, Oleksiy Radynski, Rachel O'Reilly, Karl Emil Rosenbæk, Elena Sorokina (assisted by Ella Strowel), Sanaz Sohrabi, Ala Younis, as well as MATHAF: Arab Museum of Modern Art (Director Abdellah Karroum, Acting Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs Aisha Abdulla Al Misnad and Curatorial Assistant Noora Abdulmajeed) and Norwegian Petroleum Museum (Bjørn Lindberg, Head of Research and Collection and Anja Fremo, Head of Exhibition and Education)

Experiences of Oil is convened and moderated by Anne Szefer Karlsen (curator and professor Curatorial Practice, University of Bergen) and Helga Nyman (curator, Stavanger Art Museum)

Experiences of Oil is co-produced by Stavanger Art Museum and Curatorial Practice, Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen and supported by the Arts Council Norway and the Fritt Ord Foundation

Contact



Anne Szefer Karlsen
Helga Nyman


Team



Stream Sunday 22 November:
Filmavdelingen AS

Facilitators 23 and 24 November:
Prem Krishnamurthy and Emily Smith

Technical Director 23 and 24 November and designer: Benedikt Rottstegge

In-house technical assistance
Marte Moen Danielsen

Conference selection committee:
Hanne Beate Ueland (Director, Stavanger Art Museum), Helga Nyman (curator, Stavanger Art Museum) and Anne Szefer Karlsen (curator and professor Curatorial Practice, University of Bergen)

Organized by

Supported by