Urban Prospecting


Resident artist Jon Cohrs has created a device for striking it rich by prospecting for oil in the city center. Using old metal detectors, hydrocarbon sensors, locative media, and hype, this project combines a DIY aesthetic, basic accessible electronics, and pop culture to re-invigorate urban exploration and prospecting. Riding on the coat tails of the current subculture of prospecting and the historical precedent of the Gold Rush, the aim is to encourage a tongue-in-cheek urban oil rush.

Instructions on how to make the device will be made available online, and news of oil strikes in cities around the world will be projected as a Twitter feed in the gallery space. The device is both a real technological accomplishment, and an artistic 'conceptual object' which challenges us to reassess our greed and dependence on oil. http://urbanprospecting.net is a featured project on Instructables.com

The project is a result of Cohr's winning a Futuresonic 2009 Art Award Commission.

Project Created: 
May 2009