Kristina Õllek (b. 1989, Estonia) is a visual artist who lives and works in Tallinn. In her work she focuses on the processes of representation, geological and synthetic matter, and the man-made environment and its impacts. In her recent projects Õllek has studied the connections between new technologies, natural resources and human-impacted environments. Her works are often site-aware, analysing the exhibition location and format, questioning modes of presentation and installation politics, viewing it from different perspectives – from a historical museum to online space. Õllek studied photography at the Estonian Academy of Arts (BA in 2013 and MA in 2016); she has also studied at the Berlin-Weissensee Art Academy (2012), and at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam (2016). Õllek’s works have received many awards and she has been exhibited at multiple group and personal exhibitions both in Estonia and abroad. Her works are part of many collections in Estonia and elsewhere.
Her new video art piece continues and expands on Õllek’s installational work Energiat annab (‘Powered By’, 2020), which concentrates on the proportion of superfluity in the (renewable) energy’s semantic field. The artwork looks at cyanobacteria’s metaphorical meaning and physical presence within the concept of greenness. The artificiality and intrinsic toxicity of the green pigment corresponds to the poisonous proliferation of the blue-green algae as a side effect of climate change and pollution of the environment. The video unlocks these topics in a scientific and speculative manner, preparing the ground for a skewed documentation, offering a detailed and video-based view of the ‘Powered By’ installational station which is studying the transition within the electric economy based on cyanobacteria, algal bloom, solar energy, energy drinks, fertilisers and the toxic chromium oxide green.