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Dark Sound: Oil, Ecolology, Sound, and Loss

The oil industry provides the world with nearly 40% of its energy needs, offers the raw materials for diverse products and underpins the livelihoods of billions. At the same time, it jeopardises the environment and wreaks anthropological destruction. How do we think through this predicament and understand oil’s impact?

Mikel R. Nieto’s project Dark Sound (2016) documents the literal and metaphorical ‘noise’ that is created by the oil industry in the Ecuadorian rainforest, using recordings, reports, texts and declarations to address the industry’s impact on people and the environment. Printed in black on black paper and accompanied by a black CD, the publication is sold at the Brent price set for crude oil at the time of purchase and bears the warning that “by buying this book you are contributing to the destruction of the planet”. Dark Sound is a project that both conceals and reveals, in order to point towards the hidden nature of the costs of oil dependence. Issues concerning value and cost, and hierarchy and consent, lie at its centre.

Join us online for Nieto’s audio-visual presentation of Dark Sound and related works, followed by a Q&A and discussion.

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