"Time as Perspective" was shot in the Texan desert and shows huge oil pumps constantly repeating all the same mechanical movement. Beside their meditative sculptural quality in the landscape, the film touches on social and political issues with its references to exploitation of natural resources. The point of time of the film, set in the the vast and arid landscape of the desert with its seemingly endless perspective, is unclear and could be a futuristic vision or a historical document. The drilling pumpjacks run in loops – the symbol for progress and exploitation has been reduced to their mechanical repetitive rhythm. They move but never change, a monotonous labor that invokes consistence. No progression – just movement that becomes monumental. The oil fields with the thousands of pumpjacks are printing invisible repetitive patterns into the earth – or onto the film. Their “writing” remains hidden as it seems to travel to another level. But it also points to the term “Peak Oil” as the moment when the maximum rate of petroleum extraction is reached.
Time as Perspective, 2012

35mm film, color, optical sound; 12 min

Images 1, 2, 3, 4: Film still © Rosa Barba 
Image 5: Installation view at Kunsthaus Zürich, 2012 © Rosa Barba