new coal

This is an Internet artwork that draws solely on online content to show a comparative history of the German Ruhr Valley and South Africa's Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape.

Both are World Heritage Sites: the Ruhr Valley for the Zollverien Coal Mine complex, regarded as “remarkable material evidence of the evolution and decline of an essential industry over the past 150 years”.

The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape for its protected wildlife, landscape and the site of the untouched remains of ancient settlement on the Mapungubwe hill.

2010 is the year that the Ruhr Valley is celebrating its status of Cultural Capital of Europe. A consequence of the rapid depletion of minable resources and a massive effort by the German government to ‘re-invigorate’ this decimated region with a ‘cultural industry’. 2010 is also the year that the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape is under serious threat from the development of coal mines.

The coincidence is to large not to take note of, and gives us the opportunity to understand the projected time to deplete resources and decimate wildlife and natural landscape completely. As well as the sad fate of potentially needing to "re-invigorate" an already pristine environment in 40 years time (projected life of the Vele mine).

The central timeline in this work acts as a navigational base for the work, it offers key time periods in the changing history of each region. These time periods pertain to either a time of cultural growth or mining growth.

Tegan Bristow 2010