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2020 Abstracts

Crude: 1965

Willes, Bailey (Westminster College)

Faculty Advisor: Kruback, Matt (Westminister College, Arts and Sciences)

Crude concentrates on the naturally occurring tar seeps at Rozel Point, Great Salt Lake. This is the site of past fossil fuel drilling, and recently of scientific research. Though capped after drilling ended, the seeps continue to affect the natural environment. Research on the seeps attempts to understand their behavior as well as the relationship that we have with them. Similarly, the physical production of Crude explores the processes by which we connect to the earth through dependence and the subsequent vulnerability that this creates due to volatility. Scientific inquiries are posited abstractly through the process of creation and working with varying viscosities and mediums, focusing on dilution and impurities – all of which achieve different textural results. The utilization of found objects from the seeps was integral to recall the historic and nostalgic, tying the stoicism of the seeps past with familiarity and personal memory. Dependence and comfort are dichotomized with the enigmatic threat of natural forces, and the destruction caused by the seeps is of expressed interest in this creation.