Işık Kaya, Thomas Georg Blank | Turkey, USA 2021 | 15 Min. | OmeU
No other nation requires as much oil as the United States, which annually claim more than 20 percent of the world’s consumption. Oil has dominated U.S. politics for many decades, and efforts to extract the valuable resource have left their mark on the landscape. In the greater area of Los Angeles, home to the nation’s largest urban oil field and refineries, America is transforming into a giant engine, the pacesetter of the outgoing oil age.
Carried by a series of shots and a monotonous soundscape, CRUDE AESTHETICS inquires what humankind is willing to do to obtain raw materials, and how we want to treat our planet in the future.
Directors: Işık Kaya, Thomas Georg Blank
Camera: Işık Kaya, Thomas Georg Blank
Editing: Işık Kaya, Thomas Georg Blank
SCREENINGS & AWARDS
VIDEO OF THE MONTH HMKV, Dortmund, Germany
EUROPE FILM FESTIVAL U.K. Best Short Documentary Jury Diamond Award
CINEFEM FILM FESTIVAL 9, Punta del Este Cultural Center, Uruguay
VON M GLICHEN WELTEN, Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland
CRUDE AESTHETICS, Main Gallery UCSD, USA
Işık Kaya (she, her) and Thomas Georg Blank (he, his) are lens based media artists whose work explores the ways in which humans shape and inhabit the world. Their projects often focus on traces of economic infrastructures and how humanity’s dominance over nature finds its manifestation in everyday architecture. By framing their subjects almost exclusively at night, they aim to accentuate the artificial and uncanny qualities of contemporary urban environments and human settlements.
Işık Kaya holds an MFA degree in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego, and a BA degree in Photography & Videography from Istanbul Bilgi University, where she studied with a full scholarship. She has participated in exhibitions at Kunsthalle Basel (Switzerland), Die Digitale Düsseldorf (Germany), Royal Geographic Society (UK), CEAAC (France), CICA Museum (Korea), and San Diego Art Institute – ICA San Diego (USA) among others.
Thomas Georg Blank was first trained in cultural and media education focusing on photography before studying art in AdBK Karlsruhe and ENPEG La Esmeralda in Mexico City. He has had several exhibitions in galleries and museums, including Hek Basel, Historisches Museum Frankfurt, Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Kunstverein Pforzheim, Blue Star Contemporary and C/O Berlin. His works have been awarded many times and he has been a scholar of DAAD as a research fellow at UC San Diego’s Center for Human Imagination.