Oil News

“What does oil say when it tells on itself? Oil & Gas Journal, founded in 1902, is the petroleum industry’s leading worldwide publication. Using a process called scrapism, defined by Sam Lavigne as ‘reverse engineering the web for critical ends’, Oil News 1989 – 2020 scrapes every main headline from the journal beginning with the 24 March 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster – until then the worst oil spill in U.S. waters – up to the 2020 crisis in global oil prices.

The multinational, multiconglomerate oil industry divulges myriad streams of data about its operations, which when looked at in both the macro (314,452 oil well deaths) and micro (distinct obituaries for each one) yield surprising and discordant findings. Oil News synthesises ‘oily’ data that reveals its own significance at the very moment it is divulged. Oil ‘tells’ on itself while resisting attempts to totalize its profound impact on human life systems. 

This limited edition artist book enacts a narrativising of oil, presenting the colossal totality of news headlines previously only accessible in snapshot.”