In the summer of 2014 a series of deep craters were found at Yamal Peninsula at the furthest north of Siberia. Scientist suggest that these enormous holes in the tundra are created by severe explosions of methane gas – as a consequence of increasing temperatures caused by global warming. The art-project BURST is a series of contemplations on the methane craters and their possible meaning. By combining scientific discourse, ancient Nenet-mythology and political satire the project explores how the craters can be used as metaphors for the potential passage through the sky and the waters, that is now suggested by both the scientific community and the Pope, as a possible consequence of capitalisms all-encompassing grip of the globe (antropocen).

Inherent in the scientific thinking on the methane craters, that is found both on Yamal Peninsula and in the depths of the Barents Sea, exist the suggestion of a so-called climatic feedback-loop – with potential catastrophic consequences for the global climate. The siberian holes in themselves have a visual and aesthetic appeareance that matches these apocalyptic undertones of the scientific discourses.

The area where the craters were found is populated by the nomad-people the Nenets, an ancient shamanistic culture. In the mythology of the Nenets the terms si and nio both indicate a hole or a passage:

The primordial hearth, which was the source of the notions haehae and haeywy, as well as of hae’ (thunder) and hae (deep/whirlpool), was most likely a symbol of some ‘living force’ that filled all space – from the female ‘bottom/low place’ and the male ‘top’ to the very limits of the sky and the waters.

BURST has been manifested as a film, a performance, a script and a talkshow.


The core research-group of BURST has been Ferdinand Ahm Krag (visual artist), Frederik Jacobi (film-maker), Theis Ørntoft (poet) and Frans Jacobi (visual artist). They have produced the film BURST.

The performance BURST, based on a script by Frans Jacobi was produced in collaboration with Christina René, Markus Samnell, Gitte Sætre, Hamado Gebremichael, Kristian Gaahl Espedal, Edvard Sundby, Njål Clementsen and Frans Jacobi.

The talkshow CLIMATE CRISIS, METHANE BURSTS AND IMBALANCE took place at Meteor Festival 2015 in Bergen with contributions from: Jacob Lillemose, Karin Andreassen, Hilde Mehti, Signe Lidén, Frans Jacobi, Margrethe K Brekke, John Perlin & Alicia Cohen. Moderators: Pope Francis and Thomas Moore.


Frans Jacobi is Professor at The Art Academy – Department of Contemporary Art, Faculty of Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen