oil wells: sturgeon road & 97th street
16mm, colour, optical sound, 3 minutes, 2002
funded in part by the national film board of canada filmmaker’s assistance program
highlighting the repetitive nature of oil wells in northern alberta, this hand processed film documents a sighting common to the canadian prairies.
Christina Battle’s Oil Wells: Sturgeon Road & 97th Street (2003) hand-manipulates 16mm footage of oil fields on the Canadian prairies, simultaneously managing to recall Cécile Fontaine’s delicacy of emulsion-layering technique, pay visual homage to Pat O’Neill’s early 7362 (1967), and evoke with marvellous understatement the grand prize at the heart of the imperialist resource wars. [senses of cinema “Been Underground So Long, It Looks Like Up to Me: New York Underground Film Festival 2004” [Ioannis Mookas (review of programme: ‘patriot games’ – nyuff 2004)]
Shot in the artist’s home province in Alberta, the mechanical rising and falling of an oil well is subject to a suite of rephotography applications (recoloured, superimposed, speed changes). Views of far and near are juxtaposed. Theme and variations, not with a piano, but an oil derrick on a prairie field, rising and falling. [Mike Hoolboom, 2007]