Jul 11, 2014 – Aug 23, 2014
Spanning the petroleum fields of West Texas to the refineries and plastics plants clustered around the Gulf Coast, the petrochemical network of the nation converges on Texas, the home state of the Oil Industry. From the oil exploration, drilling, and services companies in the “upstream” realm, to the conveyance, storing, refining and processing activities “midstream” and “downstream,” this landscan takes inventory of the major petrochemical sites in Texas, providing a portrait of the reigning territory at the pinnacle of our Age of Oil.The Houston Petrochemical Corridor Landscan is an unedited, 14-minute shot of the ground, from a flight over the nation’s parallel universe of oil production, which begins just east of Houston–from the East 610 Loop to the Highway 146 Bridge. The work was procured using a high definition video camera inside a gyro-stabilized ball mounted on the nose of a helicopter. The route was scouted and directed by members of the CLUI, and was shot by Ron Chapple, an aerial videographer. The scene is further enhanced by another-worldly room tone created by Kevin Doherty, of the UK-based musical group Sleep Research Facility.
Focusing on still image or filmmaking as a primary medium, this series explores how varied manifestations of political, environmental, urban, and utopian interventions inform a more contemporary way of thinking about the entanglement of history and geography. Through this form of investigation, Cultural Cartographies reveals how artists negotiate understandings of space and place, using technologies of vision, that shape social and natural environments.