The short video essay Deep Weather draws the connection between the relentless reach for fossil resources with their toxic impact on the climate, and the consequences this has for indigenous populations in remote parts of the world. The video elaborates on oil and water as the two primordial liquids that form the undercurrents of all narrations as they activate profound changes in the planetary ecology. The first scene gazes down on the huge open pit extraction zone for tar sands in the midst of the vast boreal forests of Northern Canada, opening the view into the dark lubricant geology. The second part of Deep Weather turns to the consequences of the melting Himalayan ice fields, rising planetary sea levels and extreme weather events that increasingly define the living condition in Bangladesh. The video documents the gigantic community effort in building protective mud embankments. For different purposes there is massive landscaping going on, on a planetary scale.
Ursula Biemann is an artist, writer and video essayist based in Zurich. Her artistic practice is strongly research oriented and involves fieldwork in remote locations, investigating the social ecologies of water and oil. Her video installations are exhibited worldwide in museums and the international art biennials of Liverpool, Shardjah, Shanghai, Sevilla, and Istanbul. She is a senior researcher at the Zurich University of the Arts and publisher of several books.