International Light Art Project

James Geurts

Photo: James Geurts


Haus der Stiftungen (House of Foundations) / Galerie Seippel, Zeughausstr. 26, 50667 Cologne


Mixed Media


URBAN HEAT ISLAND video proposes a geothermal release valve for Cologne’s subsurface, which is heating up due to an urbanization effect.

The city of Cologne has formed an urban heat island, a phenomenon caused by an artificial surface covering the natural landscape creating an increasing feedback loop of heat transference between the city and the substrata. Cologne sits above a uniquely shallow aquifer, a subterranean reservoir of elevating heat due to human activity and the subsurface temperature rise and subsequent atmospheric warming.

FATHOM III gives form and colour to the invisible force of heat transference. Abstract colour fields in the video work are forged from Cologne temperature data and heat signatures made in-camera, emulating this thermal regime, aligning the superposition of the urban and natural strata, and amplifying the invisible schisms occurring through temperature fluxes in the subsurface.

Human imperatives and actions change the natural environment by modifying space and materials which, as a consequence, have an immense impact on the energy balance of the Earth. Urban heat islands and destabilised thermal fields emerge in cities as a result of the phenomena associated with the urbanization itself. The resulting climb in temperature triggers premature deaths and disease in the cities, and then produces a further energy demand in high density buildings.


James Geurts
born 1970 in Australia
lives and works in Melbourne [au] and in London [gb]

2009 Master of Fine Arts, RMIT University, Melbourne
1991 Abschluss Drawing/Film/Design, Swinburne University, Melbourne


exhibitions (selected)

2020 The Habitat of Time, Arts Catalyst, London

Fathom I, Fathom II, //RESPONSIVE, International Light Art Project, Halifax [ca]
Liminal Trajectories, CAVES Gallery, Melbourne


Seismic Field, GAGPROJECTS (Greenaway Art Gallery), Adelaide [au] und Berlin [de]
Floodplain, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne


Seismic Field, La Trobe Art Institute, Bendigo [au]
Water Gate, Kuandu Museum of Fine Art (KdMoFA), Taiwan [tw]
Fulcrum, Phasmid Studios, Berlin


Archaeology of Time, Creative Victoria Public Sculpture Fund, Civic Park, Warragul [au]

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