Digital Media MA
bei Prof. Ralf Baecker
Amateur PET is a time-based installation inspired by the political and economic term of the "oil curse". This term refers to the paradoxical phenomenon that many oil-rich countries have deficits in sustainable economic growth and democracy. I come from one such country, Iran, and I have long been uneasy with this term.
Crude oil is a purely natural substance which has been existing before humans and was later discovered by them. A Curse is a nonphysical human-made concept, which unlike oil, is not discovered but fabricated. The word is often used to describe an unbodied evil that causes misery, great harm, or misfortune.
Using the word “curse” in conjunction with the name of the material in the term “Oil Curse “seems to take the responsibility out of human hands and gives it to an unknown nonphysical entity. The combination of these two words, coming from the physical and the metaphysical world, makes the term quite uncanny.
The creature's breathing rhythm follows OPEC oil prices from 1980 to 2020 in a 6-minute loop, and its body is made of PET foil.
The animated video is made of the photographs from the first oil well in Iran. The Oil Well is removed from the foreground.
Is a question and an answer.
“Allo” means “Do you hear me?”
And “Allo” means “I hear you; do you hear me?”
The conversation only begins when both can hear each other.
On 16th November 2019, the extreme increase of petrol price, initiated protests against the Iranian government all over the country. The authorities attempted to suppress the protests by a total shut- down of the internet. For over a week, the only way to contact families and friends was over traditional phone lines. Many Iranians all over the world were trying to reach their families in this way, which overwhelmed the system. In one of my unsuccessful attempts to contact my family, instead I reached an endpoint where many callers involuntarily met, who all were trying to reach their families and friends.
You are hearing “Allo?” from all of those who were waiting to hear “Allo?” back from their beloved.