Works made on residency during 2017 include three video art pieces about climate engineering (geoengineering) as a response to climate change; the Anthropocene era and anthropogenic influences on our environment.

AnthropoScenes I, II and III were made for the Icelandic SÍM Artists' Residency and exhibited as works-in-progress at the SÍM Gallery in central Reykjavík during Nov/Dec 2017.


AnthropoScene I : Breakdown

The traffic just seems to be getting worse every day at Iceland's iceberg lagoon, Jökulsárlón...
Dur: 4'08" / Cinema 4K HDR video with stereo audio.

Australian video artist Adam Sébire brings wry black humour to global warming’s visible effects at one of the fastest-retreating glaciers, Breiðamerkurjökull, in Iceland's Vatnajökull National Park: its astonishing iceberg procession is here reimagined as a traffic jam of cinematic proportions.


AnthropoScene II : Tideline

The tideline on an island's black-sand beach is blown ever higher.

Dur: 2'30" / FHD single-channel, stereo audio.

Composer Martin Franke & filmmaker/video artist Adam Sébire explore anthropogenic sea level rise in this work filmed with UAV (drone) off remote Eastern Iceland.  Reverse motion creates an eerie prolepsis, a kind of previsional prescience of ever rising high tide lines.

Video © 2017 Adam Sébire (AU) www.adamsebire.info   
Music © 2017 Martin Franke (DE/NL) www.hethoutenhuis.org


AnthropoScene III : Hellisheiði; or, the post-modern Prometheus

(Split-screen for preview only; to be presented as a 3 screen work, or 2 screens + core sample in vitrine). Premiére at Deutsches Museum, Munich, from 17 October 2018.


The Climeworks CarbFix2 project at Hellisheiði, Iceland is the world’s first industrial-scale "carbon scrubbing" trial to capture carbon dioxide (CO₂ ) directly from Earth's atmosphere. This CO₂ is mixed with water and pumped through domed injection wells into the volcanic basalt below, where it reacts and solidifies as a new type of rock.
Most climate change policy tacitly assumes the success of such geoengineering projects — despite the unknown long-term consequences of "hacking" our planet.

Above: Vertical for smartphones, tablets & immoveable horizontal screens.
Sideways Version (in new window) if you’ve tilted your TV/projector 90º left.

This ongoing work comprises photographs, a three-screen installation, or possibly a standalone vertical video (left).

At COP21 in Paris, December 2015, the world’s leaders stated their “aspiration" to limit global warming to an upper limit of 1.5ºC this century. On the planet's present trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions there is no way to achieve this without what is termed geoengineering: using technology that does not yet exist to “engineer" the climate.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is arguably the most benign of these technologies, however it has previously proven both difficult and expensive. Furthermore, all forms of climate engineering potentially come with what ethical philosophers such as Clive Hamilton term “moral hazards”.

Hellisheði in Iceland is the other-worldly site of the CarbFix2 & Climeworks projects. Since October 2017 this test site has been "carbon scrubbing" directly from the surrounding air, mixing the captured CO₂ with water, and injecting it via these domed wells into basalt rock formations surrounding Hengill, an active volcano, where it mineralises: carbon sequestered as Anthropic rock.

Australian artist Adam Sébire is drawn to this site for its modern-day alchemy (though here dematerialising carbon dioxide rather than materialising gold) and for its Promethean overtones: an unshakeable faith in the technological superiority of Homo sapiens over the planet.

©2018 Adam Sébire www.adamsebire.info/anthroposcenes

Homeostasis (see vertical video, left)

In a future geological era complex lifeforms seem to have disappeared but the planet appears to be correcting an atmospheric imbalance itself as geological processes reverse. After only a few hundred thousand years, equilibrium — homeostasis — will have returned.

Tallscreen (vertical video) artwork made to accompany an exhibition of still photos documenting early geoengineering and carbon sequestration attempts at Hellisheði, Iceland, in late 2017.

Dur: 2'18" / FHD HDR single-channel video, 2.1 stereo audio.

Photographic stills & video art exhibited as a work-in-progress at SÍM Reykjavík, December 2017.

 CarbFix 1 CO₂ injection test-site for carbon capture and sequestration technology.

CarbFix 1 CO₂ injection test-site for carbon capture and sequestration technology.


Comment