For Earth Day, 2017, Irish artist John Gerrard created a virtual “flag” made of oil at the Spindletop site in Texas where oil was first drilled in the United States, in 1901. Spindletop became the birth place of oil companies Gulf Oil and Texaco which developed the oil in that field.
His flag is completely virtual, so no oil was spilled in the making of the flag. The artist used high res photographs of the Spindletop site to create a realistic looking scene, and the generated video streamed continuously on the Channel 4 site for 24 hours during April 22, 2017 (Earth Day).
The video describes the “making of” this art piece. The artist is well known for his computer simulation art works that frequently refer to the use of fossil fuels that have fueled the industrial revolution, population explosion and move from the Holocene epoch into the Anthropocene marked by humankind’s impact on the whole Earth system.