Oil Compass


International Media Art Exhibition “TransLife”
National Art Museum of China
From July 21 to August 21

V2_ Institute for Unstable Media
Rotterdam, NL
September 2011

Witte de With Festival
V2_ Institute for Unstable Media
Rotterdam, NL
September 2011

Sabanci Centre
September 2011


Festival Cultura Digital
Museum of Modern Arts
Rio de Janeiro
2 – 5 December 2011


Oil Compass at V2_
Kasia’s Profile on V2_
Interview on Oil Compass at Fashioning Tech magazine
Oil Compass on Protei.org
Kasia’s Profile on Protei.org
Huffington Post Article

Oil Compass V 1.0

“Oil Compass” explores the potential of the future effects of oil spills on oceans through the convergence of past records with present real-time data. Kasia Molga has attempted to envision possible future response for the novel oil spill cleaning technology called Protei: a swarm of autonomous sailing robots that would monitor and clean up oil spills.

It is an interactive visualisation depicting “past”, “present” and possible “future” scenarios of oil spills in world’s oceans; and threats which oil rigs and tankers carry while scattered all over the planet. Based on Google Earth API, it take live data visualisation of oil tankers and oil rigs and juxtaposition it together with the 10 worst spills in the history put together with data of energy consumption (and therefore need for oil) all over the world. “Oil Compass v.1″ was produces in V2_ in Rotterdam as a part of Protei development – unmanned drone which can clean waters – brainchild of Cesar Harada

Oil Compass V 2.0

“Oil Compass” is a component of Protei and a core of its navigational artificial intelligence. It has three roles within the Protei project:
1) Educational/Didactic – informing people about past and present spills and its dangers;
2) Monitoring/Forecasting – through anylasing collected data it is possible to predict the next disaster
3) Navigational for “Protei” locations – so that we can send Protei where necessary and track fleet’s movement.
Its content is created by communities all over the world – people who keep updating “Oil Compass” map with oil, plastic or other sea pollution in their regions.

Exhibited installation “Oil Compass v2.0” takes the real time environmental data visualization which becomes a crucial component of the piece, allowing people to interact with it and discover oil and radioactive spills together with plastic pollution, raising awareness of their distribution all over the world by ocean currents. It is based on online databases and collected data. It visualises real time data of oil tankers marine traffic and position of oil rigs, thus advocating of data transparency.

The projection-based installation is made with open source programming language VVVV. Microsoft Kinect is used to track gestures enabling viewers to unravel visualised data with their hands, thus “spilling” virtual oil. It is a comment on our consumerism culture – demonstrating that a lot of unnecessary products and packaging we tend to buy requires a large proportion of oil as a ingredient and a power/energy for production.