Silke Huysmans
Hannes Dereere Out of the Blue


Largely unexplored, the sea depths are yet to be exploited to their full. The mining industry’s interest in the largest ecosystem in existence on our planet has, however, encouraged scientific research. It is now source of concern for ecologists. Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere conclude their documentary and performative trilogy on the theme of extractivism with this fascinating inquiry into prospection.

It is springtime 2021, in the Clarion Clipperton zone, a miniscule section of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico. Three boats are present on the site: a Belgian mining company is testing for the ocean-bed extraction of precious metals; an international team of scientists is checking on the impact of this exploitation on an undiscovered ecosystem and, on board the third boat, a group of Greenpeace activists is demonstrating against this potential industry in order to generate media and governmental awareness. From Brussels, by means of a satellite link, Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere converse with each of them and carry out their enquiries. Their interviews and studies are used in order to build up a dramaturgy which is theatrical, visual and sound-based. Drawing upon a mixture of investigation and poetry, they probe into the complexities of this mad rush to stake a claim on the emerald depths. The narrative strands arising from the energy-related, economic and ecological implications at work in this piece create repercussions across the themes of the green transition, climate change and knowledge of the living world. Following on from Mining stories and Pleasant Island, performed at the Festival d’Automne in 2020, this final piece questions humanity at large on the future it is creating.