Thus far in the studio, I've been running videos on a loop for display, printing out work proofs and making photographs and video in the ad-hoc space. I'm interested in working a bit more directly with the materials (matter) around the construction site, so I gathered some limestone and mud as well as some grasses from the peripheral wetlands to photograph in the terminal. A few iPhone images are below. I'll process new images in the coming days and post them here as well.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Found myself thinking a lot about materials on this recent site visit. All of the stuff, the matter that I was actually paying attention to and looking at, but also the way I was working with my own materials – camera, tracking slide and fluid head tripod. Panning, tilting, sliding - watching everything transform through the camera’s viewfinder or LCD screen. The wind was really whipping around, which was great. Little weeds and grasses were flopping sideways and the plastic flags, tarps and ropes were all over the place. Birds too and of course planes taking off one after another. Always interesting to shift your gaze from ground level upward, the seemingly stable compacted dirt and concrete contrasting with the shimmering surfaces of water and sky just a glance above.
Several lightly edited proofs from the recent visit are below. I haven’t had a chance to review the video yet. Look for a few preview clips in the coming weeks, if you are interested.
Click images for larger view:
Sunday, September 15, 2013
This recent visit was a hot one. Sweltering temperatures on those rocks with a sticky breeze whipping around, swirling stuff up and flapping the measure flags. Something struck me this time in terms of how it felt to wander around the periphery of the ridge, looking down the slope of the incline from the highest point on the site (the sloped, fabricated half-mound that will be the top of the runway, with the highway below that bifurcates the space). Well, it wasn’t so much looking down, but stopping and turning around. You’re immediately transported to an arid, almost otherworldly landscape that seemingly extends as far as the eye can see. White sand/rock/stone covers the ground with nothing but a series of cans, poles and flags coming between it and the blue of the sky. It’s a strange feeling to be on top of such a flat expanse, feeling simultaneously grounded and suspended.
As well, I found myself fixated upon a certain lighting fixture run by a generator alongside walls being built on the bottom, opposite side of the runway incline. Something about the heat emanating from the lamps in the mid-morning sun, causing this sort of flickering shimmer on the metal where the two light sources came into contact. Behind these bulbs a swaying slice of iron hovers in the breeze, seemingly light as a feather but knowingly heavy and precarious.
Anyway, something nice about all of that.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Click on image above for detail view
So, just what exactly is going to be/has already been involved with this experimental residency and long-term project? Several tons of dirt, multiple site visits, a slowly rising inevitable mountain in the form of a runway, a makeshift community studio in the airport, many photographic frames exposed, printed and tested, video gathered from above, below and in-between, and a thick blanket of black asphalt icing the dynamically compacted earth to seal it all in. A bit of a poetically styled description, but that’s the gist of it.
But let me break it down a bit more pragmatically. The impetus for this entire project is the construction of a new runway at the Fort-Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport as well as a terminal expansion. This massive undertaking involves a significant transformation of the physical surround. Most significantly, a tiny mountain with an elevation of 65 feet is in the process of being fabricated on-site. This, of course, will be the runway, its elevation necessary to clear the highway that will lie beneath. Regularly scheduled trains deliver massive quantities of limestone from nearby quarries in Pompano and Medley where it begins a process of what seems an endless and continual piling, smoothing and grading.
Where do I come in? I get to respond to these transformations and note the gradual and dramatic shifts over an almost two year period. My first short-term site visit resulted in an initial record that will serve as a start-point for what will ultimately become a type of archive. However, rather than documenting the process of the construction itself and literally tracking changes in a scientific or methodical manner, my imagery may well be ambiguous and at times difficult to decipher. My concern is not with constructing a temporal continuum that relates to the start and finish of the project, but with allowing the very nature of the structural transformations to dictate my response. In other words, I am interested in the deep, ecological time evoked by the layered strata of earth as might be depicted in a photograph, or the seemingly infinite experience of a waft of dust floating in the air, slowed down even further in a video representation.
The first completed artworks are scheduled to be installed in October and will take the form of multi-channel, silent video works that will be installed in one of the airport terminals. This will be followed by a longer-term residency in the month of December, which will include a community studio in the airport. During this time, I will bring materials directly into this studio and work on the project while interacting with travelers interested in the project. Shorter-term visits will follow along with two additional longer residencies with community studios and public lectures in May and September of 2014, culminating in the installation of site-specific works throughout the airport. During each of these stages, I will keep a log of my activities on this blog and will post works-in-progress and test studies.
In the meantime, below are a few images from the initial site visit that have been worked on a bit in terms of sequencing and arrangement. It is unlikely that many single photographic images will be used, as my interest is not in any kind of isolated “moment” but rather in the natural extension and the back and forth movements across a slice of space and time. (More on this to come….)
Click on images below for detail view
Sunday, May 19, 2013
A few more selections from the last day on site at FLL on Thursday. I thought I'd put a few of these together as multiples so I can start getting a sense of how the imagery might work in that manner. Some short clips of raw, unprocessed video footage is in the mix here too (once again, I won't be using synchronous audio, so consider muting the speakers when viewed - or not, it's somewhat interesting to hear the muffled sounds of wind and beeping as well - one day I'll remember to exclude audio when uploading the clips).
Most of this imagery was gathered while on top of the limestone "mountains" that will eventually be the runway. I did ask to be taken back to the bottom as well, near the dynamic compaction - which is where I was introduced to the lovely sod hill.
(Click on the images below for larger, detail view)