Browsing articles tagged with " oil spill"
Jul 12, 2011
admin

OIL – Beneath the Surface (2011)

OIL is a program of short videos exploring issues and relationships we have with oil, both politically and poetically. I am very happy and extremely proud of the program, the works are excellent and thought provoking. This project would not have happened without the generosity of all the artists involved, and all of the work by Vicki Chau and EMMEDIA. I would like to thank everyone for his/her willingness to be part in this!

The screening is tonight TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2011 @ 7PM at EMMEDIA:
#203, 351 – 11 Ave. SW Calgary, Alberta T2R 0C7

Link to download Program Brochure with Daniel Duga’s Curatorial Statement and Artist Biographies

 

Videos in the program in screening order:

“Oil (Excerpt)” by Peter Aerschmann (Bern, Switzerland)
“OIL’D” by Chris Harmon (Brooklyn, NY)
“BASIN” by David Geiss (Victoria, BC)
“SCAPE” by Kyle Armstrong & Leslea Kroll (Edmonton, AB)
“A Flood and then some Desert” by Kent Tate (Shaunavon, SK)
“Paper Moon, Cardboard Sea” by Valerie LeBlanc (Moncton, NB)
“Tar Sand Pudding” by Xstine Cook (Calgary, AB)
“Lux Aeterna” by Jacopo Jenna (Firenze, Italy)
“Palabras Negras (black words)” by Anthony Gasca (Montreal, QC)
“OILSPILL – The Human Ueberfluss (Trailer)” by Andy Fox & Jo Blankenburg (Salzburg, Austria)
“OIL” by Maayke Schurer (Kingston, ON)
“Petrolena” by Mark Olin (Titusville, PA)

Mar 10, 2011
admin

OIL @ EMMEDIA (2011)

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: OIL

Presented by EMMEDIA Gallery & Production Society

Curated by Daniel Dugas

Deadline: June 1, 2011 @ 4:30PM

Oil. It fuels our cars, it furnishes our homes, it feeds our debates, our wars. Oil, almost magic, which can be transformed into a multitude of products, toys, fertilizers, carpets, shampoo, insulation, golf balls, credit cards, lipsticks, plastic bags, bottles. A strange philosophers’ stone giving immortality to pop bottles and plastic forks.

How are we going to negotiate our dependency and oil addiction with our environmental concerns? Who defines the Industry practices? How can the individual contribute to the emergence of solutions? What is the role of the artist, writer, poet?

OIL is looking for slick short videos to fuel the discussion! Daniel Dugas will curate the program, through a call of submissions that is open to local, national and international artists. We are looking for videos that address and explore the issues and relationships we have with oil, either politically and/or poetically. The program will be screened on July 12, 2011, which is the one-year anniversary of the capping of the BP well in the Gulf of New Mexico.

To submit your short film/video:

– Must be under 5 min.

– Must be submitted on either data DVD as a .mov file or Mini DV, if sending by mail.

– A .mov file can be uploaded onto our FTP server (Please contact programming@emmedia.ca for more details)

– Must not be an original copy as EMMEDIA will not accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to any submissions.

Please note:

– Submissions will not be returned unless accompanied by a SASE.

– Artists will be contacted if selected. Please no phone calls.

– If you are selected, screening fees will be paid in accordance with the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) fee schedule.

Please send your submissions to:

Attn: OIL submission

EMMEDIA Gallery & Production Society

#203, 351 – 11 Ave SW

Calgary, AB

T2R 0C7 CANADA

All submissions must be received by EMMEDIA on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 @ 4:30PM. Postmarked or late submissions will not be accepted.

For more information, please contact Vicki Chau, Programs & Outreach Coordinator, at:

programming@emmedia.ca

1.403.263.2833

Curator Bio:

Daniel Dugas is a poet, musician and videographer. He holds an MFA, Time Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  He was an artist in residence at: the Banff Centre, in both in the Visual Arts and in the Music  Department; Sculpture Space, New York; EMMEDIA, Calgary; A.I.R. Vallauris, France, and more recently at the Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney, Australia.

His sixth book of poetry: Hé!, was published last spring by Les Éditions Prise de Parole, Sudbury, Ontario.  This spring, he will be participating in the Festival international et Marché de Poésie Wallonie-Bruxelles as well as the Frye Festival. Daniel is currently living in Moncton, New Brunswick where he is pursuing a PhD in creative writing at the Université de Moncton.

 

Jun 25, 2010
admin

Grand Spectacle (2010)

The grand spectacle of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico is a permanent link on the CNN website:

 

But what are witnessing here, an endless supply of oil, right in the middle of the so called Peak Oil [1] period? And like oil thrown on a fire, another great spectacle, the World Cup is there to keep us busy, to distract us from the first event. “Uncertainty is organized everywhere” to paraphrase Guy Debord [2], the French theorist.

There is an interesting passage in the Comments on the Society of the Spectacle [3] that seems to relate to the current Oil Spill.  In this section Debord speaks of economic necessities, the mystery and the secrecy of power:

And more assuredly, it has been almost universally accepted that the geological explorations for oil-beds in the subsoil of the city of Paris, so noisily conducted in the autumn of 1986, had no other serious purpose than to measure the inhabitants’ current level of stupefaction and submission: by showing them supposed research so absolutely contradicted on the economic level. [4]

Hopefully the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico is not a machiavelic test orchestrated by the great powers of the world to study and chart the reactions of people. I am nonetheless certain that an army of analysts is mapping the degree of anger; the levels of docility; and the limit of tolerance of the local populations along the coast.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Debord
[3] http://www.notbored.org/commentaires.html
[4] Debord, G (1998) Comments on the Society of the Spectacle, XVIII (p. 56), Verso 1998

 

May 3, 2010
admin

House on Fire (2010)

House on Fire was written on May 3, 2010 after listening reports on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. As of today, June 3, the oil is still coming out and the spill has now reached catastrophic level. Although the text was written early on in this saga, I decided to publish it on my blog as it convey the feelings of disbelief that I feel might be experienced by others. [2777 words]

House on Fire by Daniel Dugas

May 3, 2010. On the radio this morning, I hear that the oil is slowly gushing out, thousands of barrels a day from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. What does gushing slowly mean? Can the flow of oil come out suddenly, copiously, forcibly like a hemorrhage, and slowly, all at once? Who has qualified the speed of this spill?

This is such an aberration, especially in the light of what happened in 1989 with the Exxon Valdez. How could something like this happen now? It’s not that we did not learn from the past, it’s more like we don’t want to learn from it. Greed is the motivation and greed will define the actions of many of the players involved. bp will fight to survive and its teams of lawyers are surely working overtime. It is important to remember how the tab was settled with the Exxon Valdez, which was repaired, renamed – the S/R Mediterranean and is now registered in Panama. “An Anchorage jury awarded $287 million for actual damages and $5 billion for punitive damages.” [1] After a number of challenges the punitive damages were reduced to $2.5 billion, this again was renegotiated in a lower court to $500 million and finally Exxon agreed in 2008 to pay 75% of the final invoice. [2]

Cheapness and greed are the two motors that propel and make the big oil machines breathe, eat and grow. The cargo barge Irving Whale is another good example. It sank in 1970 near the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St Lawrence with its cargo of PCB-laden bunker oil. In the days following the sinking, oil washed ashore onto the islands. There are, to this day, more than 200,000 bags of oil debris buried under the beautiful dunes. The clean up effort continues and officials are still removing the bags as they surface. [3] According to the scientific data of the time, the cold waters of the Gulf made the oil congeal and reduced leakage from the barge. The prognosis changed in the early 90’s when scientists noticed PCB’s leaking from the carcass of the boat. The Government of Canada tried unsuccessfully to force Irving Oil [4] to salvage their boat but Irving had… ‘abandoned ownership of the wreck, since it was considered to be in international waters.’ [5]

When all failed, the Canadian Government went ahead with the recovery on its own. The doomed barge was hoisted from the bottom of the sea and brought back to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where it was going to be cut into pieces and sold for its weight as scrap metal. The Irving lawyers were waiting in the wings, as soon as the ship reached its final destination the lawyers put an injunction rightfully claiming its valuable cargo. They pumped the oil out of the barge and sold it. If this operation would have taken place today, it is certain that the marketing branch of the company would have re-branded the operation as a great recycling project. Something like: “Hey, nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed type of event.”

bp has also invested in its branding, they are after all, the greenest of the oil giants. Its glorious logo is a vibrant leaf-like-sun-emitting symbol of hope and responsibility, a beacon of everything green, or is it? [6] Whatever lies under the beauty of the graphic remains a mystery but the image is so beautiful that we want to trust it. Even the Green Party of Canada must have thought that it was irresistible; as they too have a similar emblem.

Since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform, on April 20, the disaster and the coverage has been as controlled as it can be. Two weeks later I am puzzled by the lack of attention and coverage. It is as if the spill was a small thing, something that is part of the game, a calculated risk. I heard earlier today, on the CBC airwaves, the soothing voice of Dr. Ed Overton, Professor Emeritus at Louisiana State University’s Department of Environmental Science. [7] Here, finally, we have an expert talking about the oil spill. He spoke of the uncertainty and the scope of this event, noting in a matter of fact way, that it will never be as huge as the Exxon Valdez, “… I don’t think that it will be that bad. ” The good doctor, talked about the oil spreading over a much longer period of time than the ill fated tanker and explained that the effects will be different, “… this is a long-term affair spread over a long period of time …”

I admit that Napoleon could have been killed with a bullet but he was slowly poisoned instead. The difference is minute but the outcome is the same. Dr Overton went on to compare the situation to a house fire; ‘a room might be on fire, but it doesn’t mean that the house is in danger.’ Here I’m guessing that the doctor might be comparing the oil spill, or the Gulf of Mexico to the ‘room’ and the rest of the planet to the ‘house.’ (?) He was actually talking about the environment as a series of compartments, secluded from one another, with fire doors in between habitats. (much like a pillbox of weekly medication) Overton claimed to be not associated with any oil company, but really? Considering the size and significance of the Gulf of Mexico to the planet’s ecology, how could an environmental professor, acting on his own, create this house analogy, and not show more concern for the kitchen?

In the 1970’s the Canadian government built a series of American style bungalows on native reserves in Manitoba. The native people were puzzled by the architecture of the buildings, wondering why someone had to open a door and go through a hallway to open another door to go into another room. It seemed unnecessary and they decided to re-design their homes, opening them all up, effectively creating a space closer to their traditional view of the world. Everybody can see that the clouds and the birds cross the political borders of our world without even thinking about it, and why would they? Like acid rain, oil will not stop on a specific latitude or longitude.

On their website, Time Magazine has brought back its top 10 environment disasters page. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico might even make the list if the leak, as they call it, continues. Oil companies have a specific way of wording their messages. A leak sounds to me like a dripping kitchen tap, something annoying but that you can learn to live with. Obviously this is more than that; it is a rupture, a break, a hole. Suncrude, the world’s largest producer of synthetic crude oil from oil sands in Alberta is the owner on the infamous Aurora tailings pond where some 1,606 waterfowl died after landing in it. [8] The idea of a pond is good, it sounds small and cute, it brings forth image of the famous Walden Pond; a place to reflect and think. They are places where life forms flourish. But those tailings ponds are artificially created, huge lake-like forms where poisons are deposited; they are settling areas for toxic waste.

This latest catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico comes after years of environmental awareness, after years of being told the difference and the importance of not using plastic bags, which are made of oil, after years of composting, of sorting through the garbage – recycling the dry from the wet, the toxic from the organic. We were told, and we believed, that the biggest part of the problem resided with the consumers and not the industries, with us – and not – with them. ‘Our actions will save our fragile planet’, and we bought it. We thought that it was important enough. We listened to Al Gore warning us about the warming of the planet, we accepted to pay more for green energy; every little bit helps as they say. After two weeks, where are Gore and Suzuki? Did they say anything? Will they? Should they? Aren’t their rooms heating up from this localized fire? Is there smoke seeping under their doors? Should I really put my chip bag in the trash or just toss is out in this great garbage can of a world?

We live in a world of slogans, the great motivators of our lives, along with the loyalty programs that exist out there. Beyond Petroleum (bp), Make things better (Toyota), Solutions for Today’s Energy Challenges (Halliburton) or Solutions are in our nature (David Suzuki) – they all offer visions of optimism and possibilities. But this time the deception is complete, our optimism exhausted. What made us believe them, what made us buy into their dreams? What is the next step, the next greenwash, the next empty word to be flaunted before our eyes like carrots. Is there a roundabout in the dead end of marketing?

Environment has become a buzzword – or it was until recently – and a dreamscape where we project ourselves, perhaps into the future. Avatar worked because of all of those years of learning, of trying to be more in tune with Mother Nature, but Mother Nature is about to become one big ‘fucked up’ lady. But wait! There is hope, bp has a plan, the building of a Containment Pollution Chamber as they call it, a huge compartment of steel to catch the oil and pump it onto a barge waiting at the surface. [9] The manager of the Operations for bp assures the public that bp has a plan B, C, D and F, in case the Containment Pollution Chamber does not work. How can bp have so many clean up plans when they were out there drilling without any safety net? Did they really think that all of their dollar bills would cushion their fall? But here we are, in week number 2, and everyone is enthralled about the engineering marvel of the container.

CNN:

It sounds like a Hollywood movie. An impending disaster — think the disabled spacecraft in “Apollo 13″ or the asteroid hurtling toward Earth in “Armageddon” — prompts a daring intervention by engineers to save the day.[10]

Somewhere else another announcer talks about the box as some kind of Egyptian project. Hooray! We will have our own pyramid! The cable news networks keep showing workers welding the metal sarcophagus that will make everything go away. Why are we so in awe in front of this engineering accomplishment? Is it because it creates a simple superhero narrative, with good guys on one side and bad guys on the other. Evil is lurking, slithering, dripping out of the kitchen tap, and meanwhile … the Heros are working overtime on a plan to place a gigantic encasement tomb to save the day. The problem is that the good guys and the bad guys are one entity, one being. And why are we so excited by this chamber and not by the remote control switch technology lacking on the Deepwater Horizon Platform, and still lacking on all of the other 4,000 drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico? [11] And how come it was not there? The European Union forces drilling platforms to have a remote control switch to shut off wells. [12] We have the same idea in our homes, which we all agree is a good one – a switch to turn off the water main in case there is an emergency. It is mandatory in EU but not in England where bp has its headquarters. The company refused to implement the practice because of its cost, about half a million dollars.

Will this go away? When will it go away? When will you be able to go to the store and buy Gulf shrimps; when will you go back into the water; walk on the beaches and play in the sand? The executives of bp are as picky as everybody else when it comes time to choose the location of their next holiday. If this spot is ruined, it does not really matter, their world is made of many compartments and they will find a corner that is still unspoiled, pristine, the perfect fit for their families to frolic candidly. And if there are no more corners, they will build one and put fences around it – period.

If we worry about products that are not tested on animals we should be dead worried about this experiment. There has never been anything like it; it eclipses all that we have known. And beside the health risks involved, there are also the risks to the reputation of prominent figures. Armies of lawyers from bp to Halliburton are already devising their escape routes, planning to surrender on their own terms, perhaps even negotiating for immunity – with bonuses. At worst they will go bankrupt like Union Carbide did following the Bhopal chemical disaster in 1984. [13] The bankruptcy of Union Carbide permitted Dow Chemical to purchase the corporation without acquiring the Bhopal legacy. The lawyers for bp and its associates are certainly looking at this option right now. And let’s not forget the banks, which were too big to fail, yet they were rescued. Could bp fall into the same category?

Then on May 1, came Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square car bomb terrorist. [14] Was this for real? The timing of this failed bombing was very strange. It pulled so much attention away from bp that I have been wondering if this was not a set up. Yes I know, another conspiration theory, but you have to admit that timing is everything. The Nashville flooding, on the other hand, would have be too difficult to stage even for big oil.

Even if the Time Square event is not related to the spill, it does bring an interesting thread into play. No terrorist could have created such havoc as bp is doing right now. The effects, the range of devastation and the implication for the ecosystems and the people who live in them is way outside the Al-Qaeda league. The impending approach of the oil slick is terrorizing people and animals alike, it is creating fear and anxiety – in other words: terror. Al-Qaeda could not have done this, but here we are, with bp at the helm. It is backed by the Government of the United States of America that has sanctioned offshore drilling; leading us to rest assured in the belief that it was clean, safe, and environmentally friendly. Good going!

Could this become a case of National Security? Let’s imagine for a moment that the oil slick has reached the coast, and is making its way into the ports, like Mobile, Alabama for example. And then a little thug, a budding homegrown terrorist or one from abroad, goes out on a stroll, throwing a match in the mixture. Could this happen? What would we do with the bp executives then, would they be going to Guantanamo? And what about the US government, would heads roll there? Unlikely scenario.

Could this be a case of crime against Humanity? The human specie, humankind, what is known as Humanity is intimately intertwined with the animal kingdom, isn’t it Mr. Susuki? What is done to them is done to us? Maybe? Unlikely scenario.

Headlines:
bp Finally Caps The Well!
Bravo To The Savants!
World Wins Battle Against Evil!

And then, for years and years and years the company battles in the courts, negotiates the terms of reality, reduces and minimizes its responsibilities. The lawyers decorate their offices and buy new suits and then redecorate again and buy more suits until all the money has gone out, like the oil of an old well. Bankruptcy is declared and then another company comes along and takes it over, plucking it like a dangling fruit, ready to be eaten. Likely scenario.

Daniel Dugas ©
May 3, 2010

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exxon_Valdez_oil_spill#Litigation_and_cleanup_costs
[2] http://www.reuters.com/article/idUKN2641081120080827

[3] http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2010/01/08/magdalene-islands-oil-recovery.html

[4] Irving Oil is a gasoline, oil, and natural gas producing and exporting company part of the J.D. Irving Limited privately owned conglomerate company headquartered in Saint John, New Brunswick

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATL_2701#Pollution

[6] http://www.uow.edu.au/~sharonb/bp.html

[7] http://www.cbc.ca/mrl3/8752/asithappens/aihstreaming_20100503_01.wma

[8] http://www.edmontonjournal.com/business/Tailings+pond+breaks+federal+officer/2663851/story.html

[9] http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/05/03/oil.spill.desperate.measure/index.html

[10] http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/05/03/oil.spill.desperate.measure/index.html

[11] http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0726/p03s01-usgn.html

[12] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704423504575212031417936798.html

[13] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Carbide

[14] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faisal_Shahzad

Image: A thick patch of goo and oily water floats in the sea a 1/4 mile from the Sand Dollar Marina in Grand Isle, Louisiana.
(Photo: Lars Gange – Download hi-res here. Usage is permitted free of charge for all uses web, printed & otherwise. The only restrictions is that images can’t be resold and photo credit must be given.)

Daniel H. Dugas

Artiste numérique, poète et musicien, Daniel Dugas a participé à des expositions individuelles et de groupe ainsi qu’à plusieurs festivals et événements de poésie en Amérique du Nord, en Europe, au Mexique et en Australie. Son neuvième recueil de poésie L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time vient de paraître aux Éditions Prise de parole.

Daniel Dugas is a poet, musician and videographer. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions as well as festivals and literary events in North America, Europe, Mexico and Australia. His ninth book of poetry: L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time has just been published by Les Éditions Prise de parole.

Daniel Dugas es poeta, músico y videocreador. Ha participado en exposiciones individuales y colectivas, festivals y eventos literarios en Norteamérica, Europa, México y Australia. Acaba de publicar su noveno poemario, L’esprit du temps / The spirit of time (Les Editions Prise de parole).

L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time est un projet de transmutation du paysage publicitaire en paysage poétique. Ce livre est à la fois un livre de photographie, un recueil de poésie et un essai lucide mais ludique sur notre société matérialiste. Il a été produit en numérique et imprimé en quantité limitée.

Date : Décembre 2015
Genre : Poésie
Collection : Poésie
ISBN : 9782894239629

Éditions Prise de parole

http://www.prisedeparole.ca/auteurs/?id=148

Issuu

Archives

Shapes

Follow Me on Pinterest