AUTONOMOUS OIL RESERVE 2004
The oil reserve is autonomous. A resource that is intended to be available in the case of dwindling oil supplies. The reservoir can hold about 1500 liters of oil which may be used exclusively for non commercial or non political projects such as art or science. In order to protect this commodity it is equipped with a self destruction mechanism that will blow up the reserve if somebody tries to steal or obstruct it.
On another level the project is making comment on the suggested and positive function of the "protected space" within the art world. A protection of resources that is not guided by commercial interest or political goals. The project sets out to test the safety net of the art world and to discover its limitations and boundaries. The oil, its protection and defense mechanism, metaphorically serve as indicators in this process.
The defense system is powered by a flame that is produced by burning the oil reserve. This flame heats a Peltier element that in turn converts the heat directly into electrical power needed for the sensors and O2 valve. So literally in the event of protecting its own the reserve it will also consume itself.
IR-sensors scan the space around the object for any unwanted visitors. If the sensors detect a person, pure oxygen will stream into the oil tank at a pressure of 300 bars. Since the tank cannot handle this sort of pressure it would then explode and the highly inflammable mixture of oil and oxygen would simply ignite via the same flame that powers the Peltier elements.
The project was commissioned by Andreas Broeckmann and Stefan Riekeles for the exhibition Neuralgic;
in Tent / Witte de With Rotterdam, an exhibition project within the event Tracer. Financer: CBK Rotterdam.