Breaking the Surface is a conceptual installation created for the 10 year anniversary of the Norwegian oil company Lundin Norway. It was first exhibited as a central part of the company’s pavilion at the ONS energy conference in Stavanger and later as a permanent installation in the company’s headquarters in Oslo.
The installation draws inspiration from how the company’s geologists and geophysicists look at the world below sea level through detailed reconstructions of sub-surface landscapes created from seismic imaging and drill samples. An abstract representation of this landscape is created from a matrix of 529 acrylic pipes piercing the slab between the ground and the first floor, creating organic rock-like formations on the ground floor reflected as an ocean surface on the level above.
Visitors are invited to interact with the installation by moving around in the space underneath it. The pipes rest at a position about 130 centimeters above ground and will be lifted up to create a protective dome around each person underneath the installation. The inverse effect of people’s movement creates wave like motions on the top floor.
Inside the heart of the installation, real oil samples embedded in crystals are suspended as hidden gems that are revealed as the audience explore the ground floor area.