Combining art and science in a film project on the ethical challenges of the Green Transition

The artist Hans Baumann has received a Fulbright-scholarship to spend four months at the University of Stavanger working on his film project "Carbon Permanence". The project examines the complex ethics of Norway’s energy transition, with a particular emphasis on the role of oil in shaping a post-fossil fuel future.

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oversiktsbilde av et havneområde i naturen med industri
Baumann also spent one month at the research centre as a Green Transitions Fellow in 2022, working on his short film “Lithospheric Transference (Norge)” . The photo is a screenshot from this film.

Combining art and science

Hans Baumann is a Swiss-American artist based in Los Angeles. His background is in landscape architecture and design from Harvard University, Graduate School of Design.

His works examine ecological collapse, the dynamics of climate change and decolonisation of American lands.

This is not Hans Baumann’s first visit to The Greenhouse. In 2022, Baumann spent one month at the research centre as a Green Transitions Fellow, where he worked on his short film “Lithospheric Transference (Norge)”. The film was shown at the Norwegian Oil Museum on 17th November 2022. Baumann recorded the film in the course of his time as a Greenhouse Green Transitions Fellow in Norway. Here, he documented the area in and around Stavanger. With this film, he wanted to highlight the social and cultural artefacts, institutions and actions that had been made possible by the extraction of fossil fuels in Norway.

Hans Baumann: a man with long dark hair and glasses
Hans Baumann combines art and science to highlight the challenges of the Green Transition. He will be at UiS for four months.

‒ The Fulbright award that Baumann has received is a direct product of conversations we had and connections we made when he was here in connection with the Green Transitions programme in autumn 2022, says Finn Arne Jørgensen, who is co-director of The Greenhouse together with Dolly Jørgensen.

‒ My time at The Greenhouse introduced me not just to an amazingly generous and talented academic community, but also gave me the opportunity to mentor students and to situate my artistic practice into a wholly new cultural context. Because my work around climate change and energy transitions is research-based and site-specific, I found Stavanger (and Norway in general) to be the perfect place to deepen my expertise surrounding energy transitions and to catalyse further growth in my career as an artist, says Baumann.

Capturing the complexities of challenges within the Green Transition

Baumann plans to use the time and resources offered by the Fulbright-programme to expand the scope of his research into Norwegian energy practices in Stavanger – the capital of the Norwegian petro-economy.

Baumann’s artistic work has been described as capturing the complexities of challenges within green transition.

‒ These are challenges that both the city of Stavanger and the Norwegian oil industry face, says centre co-director Dolly Jørgensen, who has herself research the oil industry.

‒ The Fulbright scholarship that he has received strengthens The Greenhouse’s strong engagement with ArtScience-research within the environmental humanities, say the Centre’s directors.

The ArtScience-field is known for bringing together artists, designers, engineers, researchers and other specialists to collaborate and create new forms of artistic and scientific praxis by integrating different disciplines in ways that creat new insights and innovation.

Tekst: Kristin Vestrheim Cranner.

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