a part of Mapping the Prairies Through Disaster (in progress)
installation [video loop, sound loop, photograph, aluminum], 2012
A Sunday in mid-April 1935 dawned quiet, windless, and bright. In the afternoon, the sky went purple – as if it were sick – and the temperature plunged. People looked northwest and saw a ragged-topped formation on the move, covering the horizon. The air crackled with electricity. Snap. Snap. Snap. Birds screeched and dashed for cover. As the black wall approached, car radios clicked off, overwhelmed by the static. Ignitions shorted out. Waves of sand, like ocean water rising over a ship’s prow, swept over roads. Cars went into ditches. A train derailed. – Timothy Egan (The Worst Hard Time)
Pairing video of the now ghost town Dearfield, Colorado, first hand archival accounts of drought across the prairies and VLF recordings of sferics, dearfield, colorado is projected within a room covered in aluminum. As the video imagery reflects in the floor and walls of the gallery space, text within the projection recalls the metallic skies and electrified air often described during dust storms of the prairies.
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