Curt Belshe & Lise Prown, 2011 - Our model references the large underground oil spill in the northeast area of Greenpoint, between North Henry Street, Norman Avenue, and Newtown Creek, which has site of various petroleum industries for over 140 years. From early refineries processing whale oil to later petroleum based processing, the banks of Newtown Creek were, and are, an area synonymous with oil product production. In 1970’s a massive spill, most likely the result of years of industrial dumping, was discovered under the eastside of Greenpoint.
The Greenpoint Oil Release, so named because the series of oil spills occurred in Greenpoint, NY is presumed to be among the largest releases of oil to date in the world. The amount of oil is estimated to be between 17-30 million gallons, approximately 50% more oil than the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Unlike spills like the Exxon Valdez , the Greenpoint Oil Release was not an episodic event, but rather an accretion of oil from many of the refineries on Newtown Creek.
The out of sight nature of this particular environment disaster resonates with sight unseen qualities of making an augmented reality artwork.