S.OIL is a human-powered installation that examines the history of industrialization and energy use in relation to farming, biofuels and topsoil erosion. Mechanical and electronic systems are combined with living plants (experimental perennial food crops) and digital video. Using bicycle parts as the main chain-drive in the mechanism, the project entrusts visitors with operating a railway handcar to water the plants and power the videos for viewing. Borrowing simultaneously from the Earth’s living systems and industrial processes, the installation creates a space that is part laboratory and part farm.
Image and text: Maria Michails