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Carrizo-Parkfield Diaries 2004-2008
[project description and illustrations are in progress]
Carrizo-Parkfield Diaries illuminates 'seismic memory', linking geomorphologic data from fault activity with human trauma via PTSD-related nightmare : the Diaries make cybernetic loops through the unpredictable and transient scores of earthquake landscapes and neural pathways. Through photomontage, video, drawing, sound and performance, this body of work scores the unpredictable cadences of terrestrial and human strike/slip faults.
When in the early aughts I moved home from Missouri to California, two earthquakes at > 6.0 Richter scale struck the rural central coast. I live in Salinan/Chumash territory between the ocean and the San Andreas Fault, whose most visible expression occurs at Carrizo Plain, alongside a sublime alkaline playa called Soda Lake. In 2004, geologists were just beginning to predict and track seismic activity in visualizations that they'd translate to live data content for the public online. Scientists had predicted a high likelihood for a large quake near Parkfield, at a point where the San Andreas Fault shifts from a 'locked' status to one where many micro-swarm tremors occur at depths of about 3 kilometers. A movement pattern cycles in circa thirty year intervals, this time in 2004. During days of aftershocks, I observed Parkfield field studies, where scientists allowed me to photograph active geomorphological shapeshifting, and gave me access to their latest studies. I am very grateful to ASU's Dr Ramon Arrowsmith and to the USGS Field Office in Parkfield, for their interest and help. I shot video, medium format and digital photography alongside the quake sites, from then on. I made remote performance drawings for site-based moving and still media works, then integrated the drawings into large format photomontage and film works that reflect on the huge scale and micro movements of the San Andreas fault complex, and imply a more-than-human interplay between neural networks and geomorphology. I drew on my own experience of waking nightmares. The Diaries emulate how the those neural events lodge in memory as dark fragments, or transmissions, direct from the amygdala. Happily, as the Diaries slowly manifested, traumatic memory 'quakes' in my own brain gradually diminished- a witness to the power of art to ameliorate suffering. In 2008, I returned to Soda Lake to shoot a performance work with a dancer on the playa. The body of work involving the diaries extends most recently to a new edit of this Carizzo landscape performance video, Naxsmash at Soda Lake, which premiered in 2022 at KinoSaito Art Center in upstate New York.
Carrizo-Parkfield Diaries debuted in 2005 at an artist project space, Transport Gallery, in downtown Los Angeles. The project was shown in its then-entirety on the East Coast as a solo exhibition at American University Museum, Washington, DC in 2007, curated by Jack Rasmussen. Digitally based online subsets of the Diaries live at the Experimental Television Center and Turbulence Archives at Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell University, Ithaca. A Carrizo-mediated online work for Whitney Museum's new media Artport was curated by Christiane Paul in 2005. Videos from the Diaries project have shown internationally, with InteractivA 07 Biennial of New Media Art, Merida, curated by Raul Moarquech Ferrara-Balanquet; with the Museum of Modern Art Medellín, for El Mapa: Cartografias Criticas (2011), curated by Mariángela Méndez and Jan-Erik Lundström; in solo video exhibition at the Cartes Centre for Art and Technology, Espoo (Finland), with support from the American Scandinavian Foundation and in solo video installation at Bildmuseet Umeå (Sweden)(2005-6). Photomontage works from the Diaries also appeared for Bucharest Biennial 3 and with former Chelsea gallery Sara Tecchia Roma New York. Collections include International Center of Photography and private collections in Germany and the US.
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