an aerial photograph showing an oil field facility. From this perspective the facility becomes abstract, with terrain resembling an abstract expressionist painting.

Mishka Henner Cedar Point Oil Field, Harris County, Texas, 2013-14. Image courtesy the Artist and Carroll/Fletcher.

Mishka Henner, Cedar Point Oil Field, Harris County, Texas, 2013-14

Artist: Mishka Henner (b. 1976)

Title: Cedar Point Oil Field, Harris County, Texas

Year: 2013 – 14

Medium: Archival pigment print mounted to aluminium

Dimensions: 149 x 258 cm

Accession Number: US2015-5

Acquisition info: Purchased 2015

Henner is one of the UK’s most significant artists working with and interrogating the photographic medium. Based on the collection and mediation of publicly available imagery sourced through the internet, satellites and television, his appropriative practice explores the use and value of photography and its relationship with contemporary experience.

Henner’s Oil Fields series of large-scale photographic prints are composed of hundreds of high-resolution satellite images of each location stitched together to show intricate detail.  The prints are reminiscent of vast Abstract Expressionist canvases and represent landscapes carved by industries meeting extraordinary levels of consumer demand for one of North America’s most prized commodities: oil. Sourced from Google Earth, these satellite images of oil fields represent a systematic intent to maximise production and yield in order to satisfy extraordinary levels of human consumption. The result is a natural landscape transformed into something akin to the circuit boards that drive the logistical operations of these industries, and ultimately, feed consumers’ appetite for these resources.