Invisible Dust

London | Thursday 21 September
Pollution level: Moderate

(TBT1) ‘HeHe & The Continuing Threat of Oil Spills’


06/10/2016
[US Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Zachary Painter/Handout/Reuters]

** Every other week on Thursday we will be publishing a Throwback Thursday piece; looking back to older projects to see how the work’s environmental messages relate to current news, whether there has been any development on the issues raised and what the artists involved are doing now **

This week we are looking back to our project with French artists HeHe and their piece ‘Is There a Horizon in the Deep Sea’ where they created a minature performance of the 2010 Deep Water Horizon oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico. The disaster continues to affect the ecosystems and shorelines in the area yet oil spills continue to occur globally, despite international condemnation and coverage.

HeHe 'Is there a horizon in the deep water' Performance, March 2011

HeHe ‘Is There a Horizon in the Deep Water’ Performance, March 2011

We have gathered a couple current articles relating to this topic below:

Al-Jazeera: Drilling for oil in the arctic

Deutsche Welle: Repeated oil spills threaten Peru’s Amazon

Scientific American: Catastrophic Thinking

After taking in these articles it seems that the language used when describing oil spills and the methodology to clean up efficiently totally avoids plans or a means to totally reduce the possibility to an oil spill. In regards to the Arctic oil drilling, it appears that despite the training given to those in charge of arctic safety, weather conditions potentially make it a particularly variable and unpredictable disaster.It appears that as long as oil is being drilled there is a high risk of a spill, they seem to go hand in hand…

[US Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Zachary Painter/Handout/Reuters]

[US Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Zachary Painter/Handout/Reuters]

In the Scientific American Article the cause of the infamous Deep Horizon spill was due to a build-up of pressure from natural gas – a particularly unpredictable event that suggest while humanity continues to exploit these resources we are meddling with the uncontrollable, raw power of nature. Surely these dangerous, expensive and unsustainable energy resources need to be replaced by far safer, cleaner and comparatively cheaper (when cost of recovery/clean up/future expense is calculated) resources: solar, hydroelectric, bio-fuels etc are a far more logical choice.

As HeHe tried to articulate in their piece, many countries across the world still rely upon a particularly dangerous and unhealthy energy source in oil. The drilling of oil from the ocean bed, such as with Deep Water Horizon, has only negative outcomes, either in ecological disasters or in the polluting of our planets atmosphere.

HeHe will be in Manchester for Manchester Science festival at the Museum of Science and Industry with their work ‘Cloud Crash’ 20th Oct. to 3rd February. Make sure you check it out!

#CloudCrash

http://hehe.org.free.fr/

 

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