Marina Zurkow, "NeoGeo," 2012

Marina Zurkow
"NeoGeo," 2012
Series of single-channel animations, color, silent
Unique sampling of Processing sketch
Wood box with aluminum exterior and mirror interior
Variable dimension ceiling-hung speedrail armature
box: 10 x 13.75 x 12” / 25.4 x 34.9 x 30.5 cm
12 min, loop, each
Created in collaboration with Daniel Shiffman

Geologic calculation, even that which uses today’s seismic imaging technology, is an inherently speculative and deductive process. NeoGeo is a series of animations that respond to the question “What does a drill-bit see?”. Blind to what actually lies beneath the earth’s crust, each poke into the ground is a gamble, one that can yield enormous financial gain.

"NeoGeo" depicts a drill passing through deep stratifications of time—taking on petrogeology using the muted 19th Century graphical notation of rock formations. Visualizing the liquidity of the earth, various formations and densities of rock in the animation vertically stream upward.

The simulated environment, created in Processing code, is composed of tiny bits of hand-drawn rock activated by laws of physics and the rule-based formation of strata. As density of rock affects the speed of the drill, shale and salt barriers cap the accumulations of hydrocarbon particles, and software-enabled oil gushes periodically occur, punctuating the steady and hypnotic revelation of strata.

Approaching her research as a generalist, much like the Romantic artists and poets who were often amateur naturalists, Zurkow hybridizes poetics with scientific fact. The video sculpture, framed as a glittering magic box of wonder, considers the where and how of fossil fuel extraction. Its overhead trajectory into the ceiling, connected with speedrail armature, also recalls the pipes used to carry petroleum.

Video courtesy of the artist and bitforms gallery nyc.

To learn more about Zurkow's work, please visit: