Dove Allouche

Gaudel de Stampa

Black smokers, discovered in 1977, bring the deep ocean floor alive. At the bottom of ocean basins, often near sites of volcanic or tectonic activity, these hydrothermal vents emit geothermally heated seawater. The sulfide-rich water jets create chimney-like structures around each superheated plume, supporting a rich ecosystem of hyperthermophiles (the environment can be about 230 degrees Fahrenheit) that survive on chemosynthesis (converting sulfides into energy). French artist Dove Allouche’s eponymous exhibition used photographs of black smokers taken on pioneering oceanographic missions to depths of six thousand to ten thousand feet below the surface.

But Allouche’s work is not about the subduction of seawater or the process by which magma heats these deep-sea geysers. And he is not making an allusion to the recent “black sea” catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico—his project was started

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.