The Oil Common Room – Neville Gabie


Continuing the Oil theme I have recently been chatting with Neville Gabie artist-in-residence at the Cabot Institute, University of Bristol and we found out we share a similar curiosity in finding out more about oil as substance and how it seems to permeate almost every aspects of our lives. Particularly interested in finding out how oil relates to the researchers and research being conducted at the Cabot Institute we are holding an ‘object-orientated’ seminar to try to ‘map’ how it permeates the department and research clusters we work within.

The Oil Common Room

13 November 2012, 4 pm

Seminar Room 1, Geographical Sciences, University Road, Bristol, BS8 1SS

Cabot Institute Artist in Residence, Neville Gabie and Bristol University Cultural Geographer Merle Patchett are inviting you to participate in the oil common room.

The Cabot Institute has created a structure through which researchers from all fields can contribute to interdisciplinary dialogue and research about living with environmental uncertainty.

Of all substances, what is more ubiquitous that oil?  Fossil fuels and oil in particular, have entirely shaped our evolution since the industrial age.  Oil touches every aspect of our lives and landscapes, economies and politics.  It impacts in some way on every area of research within Cabot.  And yet, it is almost unseen or hidden away from curious eyes.

On Tuesday 13 November,  from 4 pm – 5.30 pm, Neville and Merle are inviting you to an open ‘object-orientated’ seminar and we are asking you to bring something with you that relates to oil.

What can you bring?

We would like everyone attending the seminar to bring something with them that in some way connects to oil and we are looking for as wide an interpretation of what that might be as possible.  We are also looking for items which have a personal significance.

  • It might be a book, a text or something which you yourself wrote.
  • A song, record, or an audio recording.
  • A photograph describing social, political or physical landscapes influenced by oil.
  • It might be the materials and outputs of academic research, from an actual sample of crude oil or the host reservoir rock, to geophysical or molecular structure models.
  • A familiar domestic product which is oil-based.

During the seminar we would like to fill a table with things which will inform our discussions.  Merle will also talk briefly about her experience of growing up, living in and engaging in academic research on ‘oilscapes’ and Neville will show aspects of previous work and his current interest in considering oil as a subject.

Nb. This event is open to University of Bristol staff and students only. After this ‘test-run’ we hope to organize another Oil Common Room open to the public…

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