Experiments

In a series of experiments at the laboratories of Montanuniversität Leoben’s Department Petroleum Engineering and at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Ernst Logar and his team explore the sensory properties of crude oil. With basic hands-on procedures the lab space is transformed into a site for creative and reflective speculation, in order to develop new perspectives and imagine a future beyond oil.

Our associative and reflective exchanges during the experiments are recorded and form the basis for the following experiments and the development of the project. Participants’ written reflections on their experiences of the experiments are a key outcome of our experiments.


Experiment VI, Leoben, 20-21 October 2020

This series of experiments amended and continued several earlier ones, such as microfluidics, the viscometer, and emulsion, as well as embarking upon a new one determining the flash point of crude oil. For the flash point experiment Ernst Logar and Karez Abdulhameed were joined by Michael Hohenberger, Chair of Thermal Processing at the Department of Metallurgy. The flash point is the lowest temperature at which a flammable substance, in our case crude oil, ignites. For this experiment a Pensky-Martens flash…

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Experiment V, Leoben, 1-2 October 2020

Ernst Logar together with Karez Abdulhameed, Patrick Jasek, Rene Ritter and Ahmad Kharrat of the Department Petroleum Engineering conducted three experiments in parallel: a microfluidic chip experiment, and experiments in distillation and viscosity. Microfluidics analyses the behaviour of fluids on a small scale. One of the main motivations of the microfluidic chip experiments was to connect culturally significant fluids to crude oil. Firstly milk was injected into a chip and then crude oil, resulting in the oil displacing the milk.…

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Experiment IV, Leoben, 12-13 February 2020

For our second set of experiments in Leoben we were joined by Benjamin Steininger and Leonhard Gruber on the second day, and Benoît Bollon provided filming. Our first experiment was the fractional distillation of crude oil, using Kumkol. Crude oil is composed of many compounds. Increasing its temperature allows to fraction the oil into those smaller compounds. Afterwards we used the falling ball viscometer to measure the oil’s viscosity. On the second day, we undertook a microfluidics experiment to investigate…

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Experiment III, Vienna, 31 January 2020

Using the same crude oil samples as two weeks before, we carried out our third series of experiments, again at the Laboratory of the University of Applied Arts together with Leonhard Gruber. This time we undertook a series of emulsion formation experiments, using a glass tank filled with desalinated water, and dripping oil into the water to examine the results. We then also experimented with adding detergent and absorbent. We started our experiments by examining the solubility of crude oil.…

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Experiment II, Vienna, 17 January 2020

Ernst Logar and Monika Vykoukal carried out our project’s second series of experiments at the Lab of the University of Applied Arts together with Leonhard Gruber of the Institute of Art and Technology. We analysed three different samples of crude oil: one from the Vienna Basin (Austria), Kumkol (Kazakhstan), which is more viscous, and Geisum (Gulf of Suez, Egypt) without condensate (i. e. the water has been separated out of it), which smells of sulphur. We looked at all three…

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Experiment I, Leoben, 28-29 November 2019

On 28 and 29 November we carried out our first experiments in the lab of the department Petrol Engineering at Montanuniversität Leoben. Led by artist and chemist Denise Schellmann we started with simple, basic experiments on the chemical analysis of crude oil. In this first experiment we not only wanted to get to know crude oil, but first and foremost the lab and the team. Those beginnings already led us to exciting discussions about approaches to knowledge, discovery and our…

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experiment | Leoben | crude oil
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