Skip to main content
HeHe, Fracking Futures, 2013.

Fracking Futures (2013)

Artistic engineers HeHe have turned gallery 1 into an experimental drilling site. The environment of the gallery is transformed into an industrial landscape where boreholes are drilled and waste chemicals are treated.

HeHe have begun initial exploratory tests to extract shale gas through an innovative process known as fracking. Fracking is short for ‘hydraulic fracturing’, a process of extracting gas by pumping a highly pressurised mixture of water, sand and chemicals underground. This opens fissures in subterranean rocks releasing the gas trapped several miles beneath the earth’s surface.

Great care has been taken to ensure this process is safe and poses no threat to local ground water or the atmosphere. The operation in our gallery is being carried out with maximum transparency whilst maintaining audience safety. Initial explorations have already found that the 1,200 sqm licence area directly beneath our building consists of Holywell shale and might hold at least 20 trillion cubic feet of gas. This energy will be used to ensure our future operation and the energy created will be exported directly to the local community.

By bringing fracking into our building, HeHe highlight the importance and relevance of the debates surrounding the process, which are not only significant environmentally, but also economically. This installation refrains from making clear-cut judgements in favour of offering an experiential platform for discussion.

Fracking Futures, by HeHe, was commissioned by FACT in collaboration with The Arts Catalyst. Soundtrack & field recordings by Dinah Bird & Jean-Philippe Renoult.