Using 21st-century technologies as both medium and subject, these artworks use technology to highlight issues of land, biodiversity, and climate change.


Scroll to see artworks in reverse chronological order.


selkie

4K video for GEN:48
Runway AI, February 5, 2024


Selkie, 2024, 4:00 minutes, 4K video (web version 1080p), courtesy the artist
This video was completed as part of Gen:48, a 48 hour short film competition sponsored by RunwayAI

This short film created with AI generated text to video and AI generated speech considers themes of identity, interspecies friendships, objecthood, and creative acts. In the film, an artist uses AI to digitize herself into an avatar that can create the AI into the image of a seal. Through iterative design, the artist attempts to breach the confines of corporeal identity. The artist wants the AI to feel emotional intimacy with the non-human, explore the liminal space between species and objects, and desire a connection that is beyond human. In this technology driven story, AI becomes tool, subject, and narrator as its voice impresses an internal monologue onto the moving images. The video addresses alternate belonging through the desires of the artist protagonist. She wishes to connect emotionally with the AI just as much as she wishes to connect with the harbor seal that she had watched from afar. She wants the AI to be an entity that is more than its programmed purpose, one that can feel an individual connection between itself as an object and the specific living creatures with whom it encounters. The AI has limitations and cannot connect with the wants of the artist, but the artist hopes that it will store her wants for a future time when it is more capable of enacting them. The artwork challenges traditional interpretations of form and narrative. It embraces software distortion and visually symbolizes the rapidity of change and the degradation of natural systems in the techno-capitalist era.

rocky futures

Artist Lecture
Karst: A Landscape of Mineral and Water

This video was created for and presented as part of Veselka’s artist lecture during Rocky Futures, a collaboration between the Rocky Climates collective and the Centre for Mobilities Research at Lancaster University (Cemore).

Rocky Climates is an artists’ network formed by Rebecca Birch, Sarah Casey, and Jen Southern that brings together artists and researchers who are concerned with mobilities and instabilities (temporal, spatial, cultural, environmental) of rocky landscapes in uncertain times.

Rocky Futures presented the work of 14 artists in a series of 9 live Zoom events at the 2023 Global Humanities Conference (GMHC) and the Annual Conference of the International Association of The History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M) in Seoul, Korea on October 26th and 27th, 2023.




Quarries from San Antonio to Austin, Texas, 2023, 6:52, HD video shot using Google Earth Studio

the rig

4K video on view at  Mareel Feature Space
Shetland Arts, Lerwick, Scotland, May 1–June 30, 2023


The Rig, 2023, 5:37 minutes, 4K video (web version 1080p), courtesy the artist
Veselka visited Shetland in May 2022 and became interested in the decommissioning of the Ninian Northern offshore platform at Dales Voe and the tremendous amount of marine life that had grown on the rig during its forty years of operation. In decommissioning process, this life had been killed, and the site was a graveyard. But the fact of life on these structures was also a symbol of hope. Visually, petrochemical infrastructure is often used as a symbol of climate change and environmental disaster. But the ecosystem living on the rig before it was decommissioned became a different type of symbol—one that represents life’s resilience. 

Thinking about the opposing themes of energy, environmental destruction, and resilience, Veselka created this 3D animated video to experimentally represent what would happen to a rig if it outlived its petrochemical purpose and was allowed to remain in the sea as a sanctuary for living creatures.

This video was exhibited in a solo exhibition at Shetland Arts in Lerwick, Scotland.

To hear more about the artist's experience in Shetland, please listen to her interview with Chris Bonfiglioli on the Coastal Knowledge Podcast of the Young Academy of Scotland: https://www.youngacademyofscotland.org.uk/news/podcast-episode-9-coastal-climate-change-art/

More information on the project: X-CHANGE: Artist Residency & Exchange | Shetland Arts

x-change

Residency and Exchange Program
Shetland Islands, Scotland, 2021/22

3D model of a cold water coral found on the jacket of the decommissioned Ninian Northern offshore oil platform
X-CHANGE is a partnership between Shetland Arts and McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas.

It is an artist residency / exchange opportunity exploring the extraction economy and the environment, funded by The British Council and Creative Scotland with support from Art Fund (UK) and Association of Art Museum Curators (US).

The two diverse geographies of Texas and Shetland have been heavily exploited for their natural resources. Shetland - the archipelago at the most northerly tip of the UK – was made rich by the oil and gas processing industry in the 1970s and thrives off the oil and gas fields that skirt it. It now looks to renewables for its future with construction underway on what will be the largest onshore wind farm in the UK. The oil-rich state of Texas has a longstanding and complex relationship between its natural reserves and the gargantuan industry built around it. It also has the largest onshore windfarm in the world.

The two selected artists are Shetland based filmmaker and writer Shona Main, and Texas-based conceptual artist, Holly Veselka.

3D model of an oil drum protesting a perceived ban on new offshore drilling off the coast of Scotland

artist studio program

Residency
Buffalo Bayou Collection
Lawndale, Houston, TX, 2019/21


As a resident at Lawndale, Veselka used 3-D scanning technology to study objects from the Buffalo Bayou—the only remaining, semi-natural, flowing waterway in the city of Houston. It's sediment holds organic and inorganic remains—both natural and not—that span thousands of years. Collecting here represents an attempt to see into this vast container of geologic time, looking for markers of anthropogenic change. In doing this research, Veselka developed a deep sense of loss. Here on the bayou’s banks are the survivors of a once vast, beautiful, and intricate wilderness. The night herons, pileated woodpeckers, longleaf pines, and magnolias feel like distorted visions of the past. They are ghosts to remind us of what we’ve lost.  











Video by Ryan Hawk courtesy of Lawndale

fauna

Archive
Buffalo Bayou Collection
Houston, TX, 2019/21



(top left) Ibises, 2021, 16x11x4 inches, 3-D printed PLA bioplastic with pigmented powder coat, found bayou sediment

Originally scanned at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the fauna collection includes 3-D printed objects and moving images. The 3-D prints carry sediment from the bayou. Similar to urns, they hold the remains of an ecosystem. Through the scanning software, the moving images become abstracted, plasticized. These digital objects inhabit a virtual space far removed from the original’s habitat.



Fauna, 2021, HD video (web version)