In this video I documented a photo-based installation that was a part of an exhibit I had at San Jose State University in May of 2013. The following is the Artist's Statement for this installation that included several oil barrels with projections on the surface of oil:
ORACLE’S OIL BARREL INSTALLATION, 2013
I chose to project images directly onto the surface of oil within these fifty-gallon drums as a visceral reminder of the toxicity this fence-line community (in Richmond, California), lives with everyday. The August 6, 2012 fire at the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond sent 15,000 people* to emergency rooms for breathing problems and other medical issues in the days after the fire. Chevron paid 10 million dollars to hospitals for responding to this disaster. Although this fire received much attention in the press, and has resulted in an extensive investigation by the U. S. Chemical Safety Board, this type of disaster is nothing new for the people of Richmond. The background emissions from this refinery and a plethora of other local polluting companies result in a variety of serious health issues for the people of Richmond, including the highest cancer rate in the State of California as well as a childhood asthma rate of over 30 percent.
In titling this installation I reference the “oracle” as I see a relationship to looking down into these barrels to seek truths about our society, as similar to the ancient practice of divination on the dark reflective surface of water or other liquid.
*Rogers, Robert. “Chevron refinery fire one year later: Fallout, impact show no signs of waning.”
Contra Costa Times, August 10, 2013
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