Above: Seeping Into History, Oil Touches Everything, a body of work by Social Print Lab. Courtesy James Von Essen
Seeping Into History: Oil Touches Everything is a University of California Santa Barbara student print+public art exhibition on Stearns Wharf, in Santa Barbara, CA. Through research and art making students explore our contemporary and historical relationships to petroleum, with a focus on the local Santa Barbara area.
As the site of the historic 1969 oil spill, which catalyzed a nationwide environmental movement, Santa Barbara’s history is uniquely connected with oil; however, our society’s dependence on petroleum products manifests in numerous ways, most of which are much subtler than any oil spill. 
Seeping Into History examines the subject of oil through visual, auditory, and textual interpretation, including illustrative flags, audio tours, maps, and an artist’s book, to be distributed after the end of the exhibition. As the climate crisis mounts in urgency, Seeping Into History aims to create a space where we can inspect our position within these larger systems more critically and vigorously than ever before.
We are deeply grateful to our community partners:
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