Legislation, global trade, international corporations act to obscure the creation of the pipeline, as the pipeline will obscure its contents. The pipeline is nearly invisible, burrowed into the lithosphere.
Oil and its processes are invisible and ubiquitous. The oil in the Keystone pipeline flows through the dakotas, never touching it.
Oil River is a visible gash on the landscape, a scratch from north to south. The River makes visible the path of oil, and draws attention to the source of the river in Alberta Tar Sands, the headwaters of North America’s petroleum boom, and the end of the river in the gulf’s refineries.
The River is thick and sludgy. No fish live there, and the slow currents make it appear sleepy.