OilScapes Workshop

Bitumen oozing out of the ground near the Oilsands mining project Fort McMurray, Canada.

I will be giving a talk with Andriko Lozowy (University of Alberta) at the OilScapes workshop which is accompanying the OilScapes exhibition at Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen’s Centre for Contemporary Art.
Here are the details:


  • Thursday 18th October 2012
  • University of Aberdeen Library, Meeting Room 1 on Floor 7 MAP
  • 10 – 6pm
  • FREE
  • Places are limited – to book please RSVP to j.stewart@abdn.ac.uk

Confirmed participants include Janet Stewart (University of Aberdeen), Zeigam Azizov (artist, London), Aga Ousseinov (artist, New York), Merle Patchett (University of Bristol), Graeme MacDonald (University of Warwick) and others from Anthropology, Film & Visual Culture, History, Sociology and Theology at the University of Aberdeen. It is intended that the papers and responses discussed in this workshop will form the basis for a journal special issue devoted to a critical appraisal of the concept of the ‘oilscape’.

The workshop has three key aims:

• to assess the contribution that the concept of the ‘oilscape’ might make to existing debates on cultural ecology, petro-culture, energy cities and city-regions, and the energy humanities, focusing on the interrelations and disjunctions between environment and mobility;

• to consider how productive the concept of the ‘oilscape’ might be in understanding the role of the oil industry in motivating and facilitating the cross-circulation of cultures in the contemporary world;

• to investigate the ways in which the concept of the ‘oilscape’ might offer a lens through which to understand the role of visual culture in mapping and constructing (and re-mapping and re-constructing) the ‘imagined worlds’ of the ‘hydrocarbon age’.


Thursday 18 October, University Library, Meeting Room 1, Floor 7, University of Aberdeen

10am – 10:30am
Coffee and Welcome.

10:30am – 12pm
SESSION 1: ‘OilScapes: The Ecology of Oil and the Ecology of Images’.
Speakers: Zeigam Azizov (Artist, Royal College of Art) and Janet Stewart (University of Aberdeen).
Respondents: Tatiana Argounova-Low, Katherine Groo (both University of Aberdeen), Aga Ousseinov (Artist).

12pm – 1:30pm
Lunch Break.

1:30pm – 3pm
SESSION 2: ‘OilScapes/Oilsands’.
Speakers: Merle Patchett (University of Bristol) and Andriko Lozowy (University of Alberta)
Respondents: Laura McMahon; Chris Heppell; Brian Brock (all University of Aberdeen).

3pm – 3.30pm
Coffee Break.

3.30pm – 5pm
SESSION 3: ‘‘Oilscape’: Questioning the Concept’.
Discussants: Terry Brotherstone; David Inglis; Andrew McKinnon; Karen Salt; Jo Vergunst (all University of Aberdeen); Graeme MacDonald (University of Warwick).

5pm – 6pm
Roundtable (with refreshments).

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