Deep Black Sea is an ongoing experimental documentary project that chronicles the aftermath of oil spills around the world in a way that, contrary to the often fleeting approach of the mainstream media, asks the viewer to contemplate at length the transformative effect of these spills on wildlife, humans and landscapes.
In the first installment of the Deep Black Sea project, Newtown Creek, the camera takes on the perspective of a piece of debris floating in the murky waters of New York City’s Newtown Creek, the site of a catastrophic oil spill in which upwards of 17 million gallons of oil leaked from nearby petroleum storage facilities over several decades. Beneath the surface of the Newtown Creek, nature exists in a state of surrender. Fish and plant life have been largely been replaced by human artifacts. Billowing clouds of petroleum, industrial detritus, plastic bags and discarded snack food containers are the creek's new underwater inhabitants.
The second installment of Deep Black Sea, Gulf Coast, was filmed along the coasts of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. Chronicling tiny details and vast panoramas of a critically altered landscape and observing contaminated tidal pools, marshlands and beaches from both above and beneath the water, Gulf Coast is a meditation on a bleak new reality faced by humans and animals alike.
Amazon, documents the ongoing effects oil contamination perpetrated by Texaco in the Amazonian regions of Ecuador from 1964 – 1990. Documenting sites with the assistance of local residents in both indigenous and campesino communities, Amazon explores both above and below the surface of 11 of the estimated 1,000 open toxic waste pools that were left scattered across ancestral lands, villages and farms.
Future documentation sites for the Deep Black Sea project will include affected areas of Lebanon, China, Thailand, Alaska, Peru, Venezuela, and Papau New Guinea. The final videos will be adapted for a multi-platform series of presentations that will include theater screenings, online broadcasts, projections in public space and a gallery installation.