10 Billion Barrels of Crude Oil

Nancy Holt
1986
Ink on paper
14 x 8 1/2 in. (35.6 x 21.6 cm)

Holt visited Alaska in March of 1986 upon invitation from the Visual Arts Center of Alaska in Anchorage, who hoped she might create a work of art in celebration of the region’s beauty. Holt was instead struck by the Trans-Alaskan pipeline, which she depicts in this drawing. The facts and figures of the pipeline’s operation snake along the oil’s route; to read them one must shift positions, a physical disturbance that accentuates the discomfort of the information itself.

This work speaks to Holt's earlier concrete poems concerned with mapping like Hometownwhile also relating to the System Works like Sole Source and Electrical System that were a primary focus for Holt in the '80s. In July of 1986 Holt returned to Alaska to create the System Work Pipeline at the Visual Arts Center of Alaska in Anchorage.

See Also

Sole Source
Nancy Holt
1983
Marley Park, Dublin, Ireland
Earthwork & Sculpture