The supreme discipline of art - oil painting - is back. It has been 13 days since a BP oil and gas exploration well blew out, setting fire to the drilling rig, which sank, killing 11 people. Ever since, crude oil has been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico, raising the prospects of a historic environmental disaster. Winds from the southeast have nudged the slick northward, where it floated Saturday near the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi and has begun to paint the coastlines.
Finally oil painting has evolved into generative bio-art, a dynamic process the world audience can watch live via mass media. Never before has this art form been as relevant and visible as today - only 9-11 was nearly as perfect, but in the genre of performance art. An oil painting on a 80.000 square miles ocean canvas with 32 million liters of oil - a unique piece of art.
We exclusively use aerial images from the oil spill. The files are ready-mades but we waived our right to use them "as is" and decided to use a special digital technique to produce a statement about the disconnection of form and color and about contemporary and futuristic imaging procedures. We use a compressor (sorenso codec) and consumer video editing-software and manually loop 2 frames, the image becomes liquid, transforms and deforms. These visualisations represent the "Verkuenstlichung" of nature and the "Vernatuerlichung" of art. Unedited oil-paintings of the event can be found via search-engines, on boston.com or on the NASA Earth Observatory website.
David Toop is the author of several landmark books about music, including Rap Attack (1984), Ocean of Sound (1995), and Haunted Weather (2004). He is also a musician, with a discography spanning nearly four decades. His first record - a collaboration with the sound sculptor Max Eastley titled New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments -- was released in 1975 on Brian Eno's Obscure label.
In Toop's previous books Ocean of Sound and Haunted Weather, he explored sound in all its ephemeral, enigmatic, amorphous connotations. His new book Sinister Resonance, out next month on Continuum, takes those explorations a step further, drawing a dense web of connections between sound and visual art. Toop begins the book with the concept that “sound is a haunting, a ghost, a presence whose location in space is ambiguous and whose existence in time is transitory.” To explore sound’s intangibility and mystery, Toop wanders through a bewildering array of references from fiction, myth, painting, and architecture, allowing him to approach sound in oblique and unexpected ways.