PRESS RELEASE

IVAR VEERMÄE and XIAOPENG ZHOU will open their exhibition The Heat in Hobusepea gallery on Wednesday at 6pm on April 11, 2018. Exhibition will be open until April 30, 2018.

About 450 million years ago blue-green algae was massively growing in low waters. About 10 years ago Satochi Nakamoto released the Bitcoin white paper. For the moment, part of the algae has turned into oil shale consisting lots of carbon, locally found in Ida-Virumaa county, Estonia. The value of Bitcoin has increased 150 000 times and a bit later decreased again 2,5 times. Furthermore, it has laid the foundation for a great amount of other cryptocurrencies and the whole system is connected with an immense system of machinery called „mines“.

Present exhibition concentrates on oil shale – using this mineral resource enables both mining the cryptocurrency as well as producing this exhibition. The fragmentary collection originates from the territories of mining industry in Ida-Virumaa, the archives of the Museum of Oil Shale, Instagram posts, various cryptomines, internet forums, Jordan and numerous people related to the industry. The exhibition sums up an unique dead end – on the top of energy that is the basis for all systems all the following interdependent layers have been built. Processing oil shale is harmful for both the local and global environment, however the industry provides employment for numerous people in Ida-Virumaa county as well as enables Estonia to retain independence from energy production by other countries. At the same time, producing renewable energy is not only depending on the sun or the wind but also requires massive mining of rare earth metals.
One should not forget about the attempts to withdraw from earlier systems; for instance the Bitcoin's idea about money as an agreement and the objective to release its production from the central bank's control. Every attractive idea is inevitably accompanied by the risk that new centers or „bubbles“ will arise. Small mines are replaced by increasingly bigger ones. Some options of cost-effectiveness are still open and even in Estonia there are several different types of mines, some of which are located in the territories of power stations. There is also a vast demand of energy by the cryptocurrency mines, for instance the annual energy consumption can be compared with the one consumed by Ireland. And yet, the „right“ financial system is probably consuming even more resources.

The artists express their gratitude to: Laura Jamsa; Jelena Derbneva; Andre Lüüde; Viktor Mikhaylov; Sergei Jegorov; Vladimir Sergejenkov from Eesti Energia; Viru Chemistry Group; Kalle Pirk and Annely Oone from Oil Shale Competence Center; Tarmo Kiipli, Ursula Toom and Erik Väli from the Division of Mining at Tallinn University of Technology; Ainar Varinurm from the Museum of Oil Shale; Marko Kohv; Maido Mõttus; Keir Raag; Igor Podoljan from Dreamline; Kristjan Kalm; Priit Padar; Otto de Voogt; Nordcoin Mining; Äripäev; Kiviõli Chemistry Industry LLC; Peter Saraskin; Maris Toomel with Kiviõli folk dance group; Andry Sill; Anna-Liisa Šavrak; Eleri Murru; Evelyn Jäer; Geili Tulits; Kaie Koit; Kaili Djomina; Maryliis Moorbach; Mikk Paju; Nastja Fomina; Oksana Teider; Rauno Kangur; Sirle Seisonen; Susanna Linginen; Tauri Laur; Ville Martinson; Maria Uuetoa; Kalev-Kristjan Tamm; Toomas Täht, Anja Dreissig; Han Tang; Elle, Kadri and Tiit Veermäe.

Poster design: TIAN-DESIGN LAB (Tian Bo, Wang Man)

Exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

Exhibitions in Hobusepea gallery are supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and Estonian Ministry of Culture.