Alien Technology is a series of large-scale sculptures in the form of industrial oil drill bits. The artist’s giant drill bits resemble forms of bioluminescent marine life, especially with their recast surfaces, or some futuristic organic machine. They allude both to the underwater world that fed the Gulf’s economy for so many years (pearls), and simultaneously, the tool that is central to the current economy of oil. The works engage with the pearl industry that is now invisible to most—a forgotten history after the economic transformation that came with the discovery of oil in the region. And while the presence of oil is now pervasive, the nature of its extraction is rarely seen. Here, it is all made visible in Al Qadiri’s shimmering public monuments.
The first iteration of Alien Technology was produced in Dubai in 2014, as part of AFAC’s public arts program curated by Amanda Abi Khalil.
The second iteration was commissioned as part of Northern Spark Art Festival (Minneapolis) commissioned by Mizna & The Soap Factory (2017).
In May 2019, Alien Technology was presented in Venice, Italy, as part of the 5th Future Generation Art Prize, a collateral event of the 58th Venice Biennale.