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Norwegian art


«Breaking the Surface»:
Art at the Service of Technology

Federico Tibytt

The Norwegian oil giant Lundin Norway celebrated its tenth anniversary with a spectacular art installation featuring the geological excavation techniques used by the company.



Oil giant Lundin Norway celebrated its tenth anniversary with a demonstration of offshore geological excavation techniques, with an artistic twist. The Norwegian company commissioned a group of artists, designers, architects, and builders to create an interactive art installation titled Breaking the Surface, which reproduces with absolute beauty the ocean´s movements.

Designed by architects Johnathon Lloyd Little and Erik Brett Jacobsen, from the ctrl + N arkitektur studio, in collaboration with Scandinavian Design Group, Kontur, Abida and Intek, this exquisite work of art consists of an impressive two-story-high structure that highlights amber colored acrylic tubes attached to small individual small motors that raise and lower them recreating splendid golden waves. The metaphoric fluidity is made possible by a sophisticated system of sensors that detect the presence of viewers, and generates movement in response.

The work was first exhibited at the energy convention Lundin Norway ONS2014 held in Stavanger, Norway, last August. Each of the three levels of the pavilion showed some technical aspect of the company´s work at sea.

Breaking the Surface

The installation can be viewed from two different perspectives: on and below the surface. On the lower level, the marine movements are represented by 529 tubes that hang like stalactites at eye level. The second stage offers a detailed view of the pipes and describes the drilling equipment used by the company. The third level, in turn, reflects the internal side of the tubes used for oil drilling. Original samples of crude extracted by the company were encapsulated in six acrylic tubes to represent significant breakthroughs. With this installation, Lundin Norway aims to show the technical complexity of their work, as well as the  creative solutions and knowledge of the environment their work requires.

Breaking the Surface

"The client wanted a really different approach, transcending the boundaries of design in an exhibition," explains architect Johnathon Lloyd Little. "The concept of Breaking the Surface met all these aspirations and expanded our limits as professionals. It was an enormous challenge that we were happy to accept ".

After the ONS 2014 energy convention in Stavanger, the work was permanently installed at the company headquarters in Bærum, in Oslo, Norway.

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