I am happy to report that LOUISIANA RE-STORIED won a 2012 distribution grant through Wave Farm, a NY State Council on the Arts re-grant. Thanks Wave Farm! The piece is an interactive, documentary installation concerning environmental justice and pollution governance in Southern Louisiana. The work examines a particular geography, the stretch of Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, where small, predominantly working class, African American communities are sandwiched uncomfortably between large petrochemical plants and oil refineries. In recent years, community groups, in collaboration with scientist activists, have won seminal legal victories and out-of-court settlements, initiatives to protect their health from toxic emissions. In this project, the current narratives are juxtaposed with Robert Flaherty’s 1948 Louisiana Story. The intent is to instigate a dialogue regarding the relationship between the petroleum industry and human and ecosystem well being and to consider how a documentary project might contribute to citizen activism demanding stronger pollution regulation. As a hypertext, the participants navigate through 24 narrative threads. The deeper participants venture into the work, the more nuanced their understanding of the region’s controversies. The installation includes a large projection and a touch screen, with an interface made up of images of common products produced by petrochemical feedstocks, referencing the visitor’s potential daily consumption. User interaction is governed by a MAX patch. The work was created by Meredith Drum.

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