Of Oil and Ice

Of Oil and Ice, 2017. Lecture Performance, part of Sharjah Biennial 13: Tamawuj and March Meeting, 2017. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation

Of Oil and Ice Image


Of Oil and Ice is a geostory that speaks to the intertwined concerns of climate change and energy-intensive desalination industries in the Arabian Gulf. The project arose from an observation by Saudi Prince Mohammed Al Faisal in 1976 that β€˜an Iceberg project is a better enterprise than oil.’ He worked with George Mougin and Paul Emile Victor to create the Iceberg Transport International venture company to study if an iceberg could be towed 14,000 km from Antarctica to Jeddah. Of Oil and Ice recovers this historical episode to propose a geostory that critically reflects on energy-intensive desalination plants and, more broadly, the geographic implications of climate change. The project engages this important contemporary ecological concern in a storytelling approach through the medium of architectural drawing. This story calls for a discussion about both the environmental future of the region and its contemporary practices. Within the Geostories series, this work poses the following question: How do we make sense of the Earth at a moment of crisis? Geostories thus stages a plot that invites viewers to make sense of the world and re-envision it in ways that generate inquisitive, delightful and potentially subversive responses.

Video of Of Oil and Ice Design Earth

by Rania and El Hadi