We are excited to fund Brooklyn-based artist Hackett in his plan to extract and refine oil from the spills in the Superfund site known as North Brooklyn. As founder and director of the Madagascar Institute, if there's anyone who knows how to pull this off, this is our guy.
In his own words:
Tens of millions of gallons of oil are just sitting there under North Brooklyn, going to waste. In an unparalleled act of generosity ExxonMobil, BP and other petrochemical giants are distancing themselves from the ownership of this vast seep of black gold, insisting that it belongs to the people. Instead of eagerly seizing this amazing windfall the people seem to be distracted by a lack of what makes America great (also: Asthma, leukemia) ; the result is that ownership of the oil remains in doubt. Brooklyn was once a world leader in manufacturing, and while we might have lost our lead in making machine tools and other useful things, we have had a resurgence in other areas. Shenzen might rule the world of electronics, but China can only look on in awe at our cloudy beer, kale chips and questionable hair styles. Silicon Valley might be good at code, but two million bucks for a badly built condo with no outdoor space does not compute. When it comes to overpriced and poorly made Brooklyn rules the world.
We have been extracting oil and refining it into gasoline for over a century. As befits the small-batch style the project will scorn efficiency and automation for the tried and true. Old oil pumps can be built by hand. The refining process is well-documented fractional distilling, a technology I have some experience in. Instead of computerized, networked pumps the gasoline will be packaged in vintage bottles.
Funded by New York City, NY (December 2017)