Petro National

Petro National is a series comprising 196 unique, generative works and features the outlines of different countries and regions, which are represented as glistening patches of gasoline on the world ocean. At its core, the project examines the global impact of burning 100 million barrels of oil per day and the ways that energy consumption has become a signifier of political power, explicitly addressing the disparity in oil consumption between the global north and south.

Engaging the potential of temporal and spatial media online through game engine technology, Gerrard has connected the world of WebGL with NFTs in this ground-breaking project. The artist has created a custom thin-film refraction algorithm, which reproduces the phenomenon of iridescence through the simulation of millions of rays of light broken down into a novel conceptual prismatic language.

Each Petro National NFT has been assigned varying degrees of thickness or thinness depending on a given per capita annual oil use of the country or region. Lower national consumption rates yield thinner, delicate oil spills in the NFTs, while higher consumption rates produce more intensely iridescent scenes. Light conditions in the NFTs, which run on the local times of the respective capital cities of the depicted countries and regions, change throughout the year in accordance with the seasons. Night and day are also experienced in the NFTs. On a spatial level, the NFTs can be viewed from various orientations on the screen by dragging on the scene. Each work features different atmospheric and wave activities as well as varied sea colors, all of which are produced as part of a randomized, generative process.

Producer : Werner Poetzelberger
Programmer : Helmut Bressler