GLOBALE: Territorial Agency

Museum of Oil

Museum of Oil
16.04.2016 to 21.08.2016

We shall need to keep oil in the ground. The difficult, growing and expanding understanding of the human impacts on the earth system, leads to a simple gesture, a simple intimation. Keep oil in the ground.

Of course, this intimation seems to many unattainable. Firstly, who should keep it in the ground? We, or why not them? We shall need to keep oil in the ground, yet it is the very core of our world and our economy. If we would keep it in the ground, our lives would need to change radically. Our institutions would need to be rethought. The »Museum of Oil« is a new institution in the making. It is set amidst the making of the major knowledge event of our time, the difficult and unfolding capacity to understand the transformations of the Earth, and it is amidst the making of a new field of work, research, projects and activism. Its aims are direct: to put the oil industry in the museum. To make it a thing of the past.

To make sure that oil is kept in the ground, the »Museum of Oil« outlines and registers how the oil industry has stretched itself so far that its territories have become fragile and untenable. They are violent, environmentally disruptive, and economically unstable. The »Museum of Oil« collects information, items, objects, data, about the different ways through which we have come closer to the decisions (it will have to be many) to keep oil in the ground, halting its combustive so-called development sprees. It portrays in detail the forms of the territories shaped by oil, indicating the main elements for the complex negotiations to disentangle ourselves from it and make it a thing of the past.

Video Documentary:

ZKM | Institute for Visual Media

Camera: Martina Rotzal, Christina Zartmann
Editing: Johannes Maag, Peter Mueller
Voice: Florentine Krafft
Music: "Everest" by Scott Holmes