Sea of Oil (Shale Fossil)


Sea of Oil (Shale Fossil)


Laura Napier



Laura Napier (artist/photographer/producer); Liyen Chong (design); Brandy Ball, Rabéa Ballin, Rosanne Barone, anonymous, Ashley DeHoyos, Ivonne Douma, Justin Garrett, Mia DeBakker, Debra Gross, Sandra Hill, Courtney Amanda Khim, Mikhail Tsypin, Priscilla Villa-Watt, Quang Vu, (stories).

Sea of Oil (2013 - present) focuses on places where oil, gas, and petrochemical industries are embedded, tracing visual and narrative social cultures. Gathering stories and objects through personal exchanges, Sea of Oil looks at how oil and gas cultures intersect with everyday life, as we are faced with massive, global climate change. Sea of Oil spans medium through a socially engaged approach. Sea of Oil has been presented as a lecture performance, a moving photograph projected for an audience, a DIY fashion show, an academic lecture at a conference on petroculture, an experimental video short, an art report from Houston, a collection of objects, and most recently an artist book, drawn from stories and objects shared during three story circle show & tells held in the Houston, Texas region in 2019. Story circles participants included industry workers and their families and environmental activists, and their stories are copyrighted in their own names. The photographs in the book were made through a collaborative, open studio process. During each story circle show & tell, lights were set up on a table, and the potential photographs were projected on the wall at large scale, so folks could set up their objects and lights, and know exactly how each photograph would turn out.


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oil, gas, climate change, culture, Texas, family, environmentalists, workers, photography, video, story circle

Sea of Oil (Shale Fossil)