The Royal Road Project is an interactive digital installation that journeys through one of the most significant trails in early North American history, the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. This installation creates visceral temporal shifts as one travels the length of the trial through landscapes comprised of panoramic images, video, and audio.
Artists Ethan Bach, J. Craig Tompkins, and Charles Veasey spent a year developing the Royal Road Project, including an intensive week of videography, photography, and field recording. During that time, they stopped every 15 miles between El Paso, TX and Taos, NM to collect images, audio, and locative data. The interval was chosen to mimic the early expeditions of trade caravans and spanish colonialists. Travelers in a caravan along the trail might travel 10 miles a day on the six month journey, often staying within eyesight of their last camp.
The Royal Road Project provides the viewer with a dynamic and shifting image that only slows when the viewer remains still. It encourages one to take time, slow down and understand the beauty and contemplate it's history and the complexity of contemporary cultural relationships of New Mexicans and beyond. The Royal Road Project premiered at the the Centennial Project Space in Santa Fe, New Mexico and was shown at Aqua Art as part of Art Basel Miami, the New Mexico Arts Building, El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe and the Science Museum of Oklahoma. Collaborators: J Craig Tompkins and Charles Veasey.