The thread increasingly surrounded by darkness Riding out the winter (decline) of industrial civilization

Artistic Influences (an incomplete list)


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Artistic Influences (an incomplete list):
Camilo José Vergara

Werner Herzog

Andrei Tarkovsky

Godfrey Reggio

Hubert Sauper

Hayao Miyazaki

Jan Kempenaers

Cynthia Hooper

Miru Kim

Edward Burtynsky

Trevor Paglen

Hitoshi Ashinano

Center for Land Use Interpretation
Murmuration—starlings in a massive shape-shifting cloud
Mendo B Roll:

Audio—either existing audio or recent watertower sessions.

Mildred interview:

Cut up into digestible sections—no b roll, or calvino farm b roll bookends?

Daphnia Pulex:

There’s been a long time since I had some fun.’

A rift of unusual size. The madness of San Jose downtown.
Find a book describing the typical characteristics of a pilgrimage site.
The wolf and the owl.
Mendocino to SF—three days of cold, wet and wind

Jumping in between the storm cells after the downpour in the village. Riding the clearing all day. Meeting John in front of Greg’s place—Pacific Reefs. We hug and he takes my picture. Eric innkeepers—the Lord’s Land and the Surf Motel. Trimmed in room 113. Dried by the fake fireplace. The gorgeous pair of teenage girls at the Lord’s Land. Long eyelashes, green sweatshirt, died dark hair, fair complexions, always laying across each other or holding hands, legs tangled up. Dillon introduces me to Paul Fenn of Local Power in Tomales. A rainy night under the bench in the gazebo. Scooting up and back to avoid the all-night sprinkles. No gloves.

Future waypoints for an industrial tour of the same route:

Yellow house with boarded windows


Bodega Bay nuclear start

Watch tatoo reality show with Amber and newer film with Katie—good series.
All the best to you Blue Butterfly. I keep you in my troubled heart.
Advice from the dream book:

Journaling mobilizes intuition

More alive to the dreamlike symbols and synchronicities of waking life

Track your progress toward (or away from) your larger goals.

Make a clear request to improve dream recall

Clear channels—fewer drugs

Accept and work with the dreams that are given to you

A nightmare is an aborted dream—unwilling the accept the message.

Write a speech for Occupy Wall Street
Visit your student loan holder in Knoxville.
Get in touch with Lucy Pulls
A machine the quantifies human suffering—to weed out the liars
The street cleaner out on a windy fall day-- showered in leaves.
Employees taking about wrinkles at Noah’s in sac before haircut.
On being the second to pull away from the hug.
The homely overweight white woman with the tiny pink Victoria’s secret bag on her arm and a bouquet of white carnations. Onto the bus.
I rarely feel encouraged to be myself despite feeling like my endeavors have tremendous transformative potential.
Still trapped in the Religion of Progress—modernist ideals.
How is everyone?—still trapped behind your facebook masks?
A crack in the wheel and the rider begins to crack-up.
Staying at my mother’s house is like living in a furniture gallery only the television isn’t cardboard and it’s on all the time.
Record voicemail via binaural—beat and greeting. Then change the greeting.

Tecate, Mexico and Rancho La Puerte

Rolling the The Incredible Heat Machine back and forth down the hall between the bedroom and the common room.

Silent but the cries of ravens and the wind blowing through trees.

Dogs everywhere—wandering the streets.

The Border fence like a Christo earthwork.

Discussions of Vietnam with Rob in the sauna

A vulture sunning itself on a utility pole—the heat-distorted air rising from its dark wings

Christmas eve fireworks

The talent of two musical women. Abigail Washburn and the opera singer from NY.

Half squalor and deprivation, half luxury and abundance.

Mildred Piece: Written component
I met Mildred in Mendocino, CA while working with the Regenerative Design Center.
I asked for a resume and got a stream of consciousness memoir detailing her seasonal movements about the country, woofing, interning and acquiring…
I’ve met few others with such a well rounded food-related skills set, Including: (list)
I rarely meet someone who’s acquiring genuinely valuable post-industrial skills—her example is one that’s to be emulated

She’s grounded in the present—she doesn’t see her skill set building up to anything she’s not already doing.

The video interviews will function as a portrait of the subject—intended to show her demeanor, her level of contentedness and happiness.

Maybe mention how the ‘subversive’ question is answered in realizing that she wasn’t going to talk about certain things that you wanted addressed.

Emphasis on her living outside the money economy—her ability to grow much of her own food and produce much of her own clothing, the ways she’s discovered how to make money secondary. She can move around and make herself a valuable addition to any farmstead.
Mildred interviews:

Part one and two (audio interview remains withheld as preparatory material)

Your voice is largely cut, questions appear in text.

Date’s and locations of interviews in end titles

Midland Texas—Let in come down

Abandoned skyscrapers in the West Texas wasteland

As of today, five of the forty downtown skyscrapers in Midland are completely vacant.

Permian Building and Gihl's Tower

Midland Savings Building

Metro and First National Bank buildings

We’re building the machine that will be our captor. We give it eyes when we install video surveillance—

Given up on an occupation—everyone go back to what you were doing.

Drivers undermining my ability to maintain optimally healthy respiratory function. Cheating. Generating resentment.
Choose an edes direction.

1. Mumbai—Antillia plus refinery town. Myths sprouting up around the Mukesh family and the daily goings on inside Antillia. Would feed well into the Gasprom palace outside Moscow. Difficult and expensive transportation needs. Culturally difficult. Unfortunate parallels to Michael Moore chasing GM.

2. FLNG construction—Korea—expand to make it a portrait of the Korean shipyard and include Maersk’s 10 new eee-series container ships. Hypothetical Megastructure. A thirst for energy. Tentacles reaching to the ocean floor.

3. Curatorial exercise—Dixie Square Mall.

Cancels out poor quote.

choosing Chicago. Choosing grace.

Clear set of questions already flushed out. A last chance to declare its ruin value—to not leave it unfinished. Feels like treading water. Solicit designs for alternative use of surrounding space. Aerial photography. Demolition itself gets only a small presence—perhaps a local news photograph. Commissioned essays are a must. Jon Revelle is a must.
Thumbtack-like Tribulus terrestris nutlets are a hazard to bicycle tires.

Aka Goat’s head

Used for assassinations—dipped in poison and left where one will sleep.

Used as a supplement for bodybuilders, something to do with regulating testosterone

Pure embodiment of evil.

Nice formal variations—some dark to light, some with holes. Macro Lens large format photography.

Vid of hand stabbing collection method. And a lecture by the artist opening night.

Could be ground into a powder and seeped in hot water

Could be sealed inside an airless glass cylinder

Could be strung on a line and worn like Jesus

Add first Nov 30 audio recording to the B-roll post and La Casona to Las Delicias post.
Quotes: The People of Paper
Los Angeles—where people who have lost their civilization and are afraid of the rain go. A world built on cement.
Giving yourself a burn as a treatment for sadness
“And then there were no rivers, instead irrigation ditches and piping and obedient streams at attention, channeled by furrows.”
The moments where we look back and think about other loves and towns. Places we have visited and think that maybe we belong, among the orchards and shade of oaks, that place with real rivers and seasons. Or with that other person, perhaps, with her in that other town where there are no flowers or ash. Rarely does anything come of this, but at least you exercise the memory and the muscles of nostalgia.

Follow Jillian’s model. Take a well-presented representation of your skill set to a potential employer.

Eric Firestone presents… the boneyard revisited
Yeah wont this be great. Now we can spend our Saturdays standing in line waiting for retail sales to open. Crop-dusting the parks and public spaces with automobile exhaust.

The worlds of pulp fantasy are by and large worlds in decline, strewn with immense ruins and scattered with artifacts no one can duplicate any more. The heroes of pulp fantasy are caught up in the undertow of decline, and their battles and quests are generally defined by legacies of the pre-decline past that have to be preserved or destroyed before the future can begin to take shape.




Andy Grimm, Chicago Tribune reporter

Dixie Square Mall has endured an exceptionally long decline, notes visual artist Brett Tracy, who began a documentary on the site while in grad school in 2010 at the University of Chicago, and is one of the few people who will mourn the mall's demise.

"Harvey has been such a poor city, and it would take so much (money) to demolish it with the asbestos and everything, that it really has allowed it to survive as long as it has," Tracy said. "Most places, it would have been demolished years ago."
Now, thanks to fans of the movie and urban explorers, the mall has achieved must-see status from connoisseurs at websites such as Hundreds of photographs of the darkened guts of the mall posted online attest to regular visitors.
"It's been a ruin for longer than it was a functioning mall," Tracy said. "That's really been it's legacy. That's how it will be remembered."

I also love the desert, we may be in our next life.

I love you very much,

Your friend and sister crazy Wind


A Dyson sphere is a hypothetical megastructure originally described by Freeman Dyson. Such a "sphere" would be a system of orbiting solar power satellites meant to completely encompass a star and capture most or all of its energy output. Dyson speculated that such structures would be the logical consequence of the long-term survival and escalating energy needs of a technological civilization, and proposed that searching for evidence of the existence of such structures might lead to the detection of advanced intelligent extraterrestrial life.

Since then, other variant designs involving building an artificial structure or series of structures to encompass a star have been proposed in exploratory engineering or described in science fiction under the name "Dyson sphere". These later proposals have not been limited to solar-power stations. Many involve habitation or industrial elements. Most fictional depictions describe a solid shell of matter enclosing a star, which is considered the least plausible variant of the idea.
Joan Didian—The white album
May 20, 2012—solar eclipse at sunset over western texas and New Mexico

106 OK Pal (Original Mix) - M83

106 Blink And You'll Miss A Revolution - Tornado Wallace Remix - Cut Copy

114 True Romance (Gigamesh Remix) - Citizens!

114 Do You Believe? (Amen Brother Remix) - Poolside

116 Ocean (Ray Mang remix) - 2020 Soundsystem

118 When You're Dancing ft. Induce (Extended Version) - Gigamesh

118 I Don't Know What to Do feat. Jeppe (Original) - The Magician

120 Time Better Not Stop (Mark & Stevens Remix) - WE TRUST

120 Parfait Tirage (Original Mix) - Paradis

121 Stratosphere (Zooash 6am Edit) - Digitalism

122 Sprawl II (thunderlust remix) - Arcade Fire

124 Four Four Letter - Black Van Remix - The Glass

125 Ari-es (Grum Remix) - Keenhouse

125 A Lost Era (Original Mix) - Gesaffelstein

125 Golden Cage - Fred Falke Remix - The Whitest Boy Alive

126 Driving To Your House Party - Xinobi Remix - Coupons

126 Boy From School (Erol Alkan's Extended Re-Work) - Original Mix - Hot Chip

126 Walk And Talk (Original Mix) - Benoit & Sergio

128 Big Jet Plane (Adam G Remix) - Angus & Julia Stone

128 Follow Me feat. Annie - Lifelike Remix - Annie, Ercola

128 Luminary Ones (Adrian Lux Remix) - Rebecca & Fiona

Royal Dutch Shell’s FLNG project is a hypothetical megastructure that, if realized, will be the largest floating object ever constructed. Perhaps more than its scale, the facility’s potential for industrially-scaled disaster has captured my imagination. It’s an audacious challenge to the sea and yet another measure of our specie’s thirst for fossil energy.
Proper respect for the destructive power of the ocean and the weather.
Although the 1.6 million man hours that have already gone into the design of this
CCCP: Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed. This incredible book could be used to plan a tour of monumental Soviet architecture. Many of the structures it features are already abandoned and ripe for pilgrimage visits.
This incredible architectural survey could be used to sketch out a bicycle-mounted pilgrimage tour of the Soviet Empire’s outlying territories. If anyone wants to do that.
Space Party

Friday, Feb. 3

2427 E. Mabel


Photographer Alicia Rius is based in the Netherlands. Her series, From the Back Seat of My Car, is a testament to her vision of viewing abandoned objects as ‘hidden treasures’. She writes: ‘I did not plan this project. I never looked for these cars, and in fact, I think they found me. I wanted to immortalize their beauty and turn them into something romantic.’

Even among those who recognize that the age of cheap energy is ending, the most common first reaction is to try to find some way to keep some favorite type of machine running—automobiles, the internet, the space program, you name it.


Thus one of the greatest challenges ahead of us as the age of abundance ends is nothing less than the rediscovery of the possibilities of our own humanity. The work that needs to be done—and in an epoch of decline, there will be plenty of that—will have to be done with the capacities woven into the human body and mind, along with those additional capacities that can be developed in both by training and practice. The effort that nowadays gets poured into teaching people how to manipulate machines will need to be redirected into teaching them how to bring out the creative and productive capacities in themselves.

What things in your life to you mine—skim off the good stuff and discard tailings. Books for architectural squares, blogs for dance music. You tube for very specific footage.
Matthew Coolidge

Monday, February 20, 2012, 5:30 PM

Center for Creative Photography 108
Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. Ltd.
Samsung Heavy Industries’ Geoje Island ship yards in South Korea. The Samsung ship yard is one of the few yards in the world big enough to construct a facility of this size.
Geoje Island Project—be present for the construction and launch of both the FLNG facility and Maersk’s 10 new triple-e class container ships. The enormous floating objects will be built within a few miles of one another on an island off the south eastern coast of South Korea. Completion of the ships, although staggered, will reach a peak sometime around 2014 and FLNG should be on the water by 2017.





Ship Launch Ceremony—another public spectacle—a ritual of the religion of progress just as the demolition spectacle is (demolitions piece)
I’ve been looking at the spectacular industrial ship launching ceremony as another ritual belonging to the religion of progress. This piece from grad school is related.

Similarities to the energy demolition montage:
A singular spectacular event (irreproducible)

Sirens and horns for warning and celebration

Lead up-- relative silence, waiting in anticipation for the special moment—climactic event

Clapping afterwards

A public gathering of jovial spectators

The inclination to document for posterity

Maybe a separate out HD footage

Editing methodology:
Crop text

clip all peripheral shots—before and after the main event. Exceptions made for cuts revealing other viewpoints but covering the same action

Remove clips of intolerably low quality

What if there’s a bunch of leadup or tail end material—good or bad—in the same shot? Clip or not to clip? Some of the material is particularly revealing of the spirit of the event.

A few are stretched

Crop all fades and transitions—original editing

And the big one: to flip and/or reverse.
Moodmasters Netherlands—video production company specializing in industrial events.

Bird audio with FLNG clip.

Achill-henge: A monument that divides Ireland
Hi Mildred!

As has been known to happen, I got distracted after the move to Tucson and am only now returning to the projects I started in Mendocino—including our interviews. Below is a link to a draft version of Part One—the bit we shot at the Albion Farmer’s Market. Although there are obvious problems with sound quality, camera focus and you being pretty over-exposed, I think the content holds up well. In the past I’ve avoided the “cross fade” to smooth cuts, but it’s an accepted technique and relatively unobtrusive—so I’m giving it a try. Approve? Hate it? Perhaps most importantly, I need to know your preference for how your name will be displayed. We can limit it to just your first or leave it how it is—though i'm not sure if Amanda is your middle or last name. Also, I’ll be writing a short piece that will help put the interviews in context for a viewer that won’t know anything about you and what you do. Part Two is nearing completion but is actually proving more difficult to edit. My hope is that you’ll be happy with what I produce so please voice any concerns. Oh also, in Part Two I may identify the farm in the titling. I know it remains unofficial, but can we call it ‘Seven Wells’ for the moment?

A note on the vid:

Vimeo hosts larger files that may lag if you don’t give them time to download. I recommend loading the entire piece before viewing.

Making dance mixes has ties to the glass bead game.

You could totally put together an equivalent Power Point on touring-- making sure not to make any product endorsements. He seemed to be selling a lot of very specific items. It’s hard to say. But yeah, with better images, design, depth of knowledge and available in fucking PDF. Fucking trailer guy.
Wasteland Twinning:
Urban wastelands are at the centre of conflicts around cultural, economic and historical hegemonies. The common notion still remains that wastelands are of no value until developed. However these types of spaces hold a unique and valuable role in the future of humanity as we question notions of progress and strive for more sustainable models of living. Urban wastelands support inner city biodiversity, provide carbon sinks, improve hydrological attenuation, provide open space and represent freedom from the controlled built environment. As metaphors wastelands typify the cause and effect of our constant (re)development.
‘Promoting the idea of wasteland is obviously a tricky idea politically, since wasteland is a symbol of the withdrawal of the public authorities – withdrawal, not abandonment.’ Gilles Clément, 2008,

“The voids of the city are spaces which disrupt the urban tissue, leaving it incomplete and throw into question the use of those spaces. Sometimes called urban ruins, they are at the limit between private and public space, without belonging either to the one or to the other. Urban voids are containers of memory, fragments of the built city and the \’natural\’ environment; memories of the city which constitute a random, unplanned garden.” Noll and Scupelli, 2009,

Wasteland Twinning hijacks the concept of ‘City Twinning’ and applies it to urban Wastelands in order to generate a network for parallel research and action. By subverting a concept which aims to parade a city’s more predictable and mainstream cultural assets and shifting the focus to Wastelands, questions of value and function will be raised. From these questions, new practices will be developed. Wasteland Twinning aims to develop an understanding of the potential of these sites through cross-disciplinary models of practice. A hub wasteland in central Berlin has been established. The founding group of artists and researchers are now reaching outwards internationally to individuals and organizations to take part.
The online network – will function as a catalyst for collaborative research approaches, critique and experimentation.
Wasteland Twinning provides the potential for cultural comparison to take place on a local, national and global scale. Wasteland Twinning is engaging with the notion of wastelands as a complex inter-working of social, natural, and technological worlds and providing a unique link between people and landscape. This act of formalized solidarity between land and people will go beyond simple gesture to provide practical platforms for cross-cultural exchange.
Stalking the Zone

19/01/2012 - David Bell

A couple of months back I watched Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker for the first time. Returning to our site on the 22nd December for an exploration with fellow Nottingham explorers Rebecca and Mat – and Will from Berlin – I was really put in mind of the ‘zone’ in which so much of Stalker‘s action takes place. There’s a strange timelessness to the wasteland- particularly in the area around the former Great Northern Railway warehouses – and it’s not too much of a leap of the imagination to think that the usual laws of time and physics might not apply, as appears to be the case in Tarkovsky’s great film.

I am, however, wary of narratives of timelessness: as John Cunningham has pointed out, the fetishisation of industrial ruins can lead to a worryingly apolitical narrative which strips humanity of political agency. And the way we’re thinking through the site at the moment is very much concerned with notions of (a disrupted) temporality: our site seems haunted by what it was, what it could have been and what it could yet be, and we’re hoping to use this project to confuse these visions- an ‘archaeology of the future’ (to borrow a phrase from Fredric Jameson) to go alongside a suggestive archaeology of the past.

Your FLNG project has captured my imagination and I’d like to devote myself to documenting the grand effort. I think the construction of such a monumental object should be properly documented. As one of the crowning achievements of the industrial age. Having spent several years capturing industrial infrastructure in the United States, I have a special skillset.

Sometime I feel like there’s a large group of people that have already internalized their oneness and are ready to ascend. Some of them are people I know. They are waiting for me to join them. They are waiting for me to extinguish my ego self.




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