Multimedia — Apr 12, 2012
Microscopic Sacred Cows: NECROCRACY
The MFA in Collaborative Design program presents media and animation artist Marina Zurkow, who lectures on how humans are disturbed and dominated by long-dead marine microorganisms that compose modern day oil.
Marina Zurkow makes media works about humans and their relationships to animals, plants and the weather. These reconfigured and inclusive notions of our environment have taken the form of animated videos, customized multi-screen computer pieces, installations, prints, and participatory public art works.
In the Permian Period 250 million years ago, the geological riches of the west Texas were formed, as marine microorganisms accumulated in sediments on the floor of a vast saline sea. Over millions of years, the seas dried out, the landmass itself moved into its present location and these creatures transmuted into hydrocarbons. In the past century, we have pumped over 100 billion barrels of oil and a hundred trillion cubic feet of gas from these Texas hydrocarbon reservoirs. Media and animation artist Marina Zukow asks us to think about how we disturb, worship and are dominated by these long-dead beings: Necrocracy or the rule of the dead. Looking at both what’s below (geological visualizations) and what’s above (the Southern High Plains’ subtle ecosystem rendered as a 146 hour animated software cycle), and what we make of it all (plastics), Zurkow’s suite of projects navigate between visual art, ecocriticism, and natural science.