Matter of Experience, 2020
plexiglass, epoxy resin with bone black pigment, water, motor oil, varnish, infusion drips, screens, videos, liquid pump, Arduino, bright light therapy lamps The installation Matter of Experience is an experimental portrait of crude oil. My work can be seen as a poetic material study but not only with physical material, but also with its social and spiritual aspects. One of my main inspirations have been different animistic worldviews where the agency of natural beings can be recognized. Could we think that oil would have an animistic spirit because of its power in contemporary world? Could the oil have some kind of experience of as humans? In my project I have used plastic as the most familiar present essence of petroleum and modified the material to organic shaped pools. These pools refer to the past of organic beings of petroleum: ancient zooplankton and algae. Another important starting point was the iridescent effect that comes visible when oil meets the surface of water. This effect can be seen for example on the streets, if there has been a leak of motor oil from vehicles. In the installation I have replicated these colours of petroleum on the surface of water. I think this effect is a powerful example of the presence of petroleum: its attractive rainbow colours catch our eyes and in this one moment we have the experience of how this matter reacts with its environment. Other times, when we are surrounded by plastic or we use the energy of fossil fuels, we are not aware of its true presence. The installation is like a system of its own where the drops of water make delicate movement on the water surface and drops of motor oil make the rainbow colors. The installation has been part of University of The Arts Helsinki MA graduation show Kuvan Kevät 2020.