denotes artistic invention and investigation into the semiotics of the energy extraction industry as the Appalachian mountains are eroded into electric pulses, synthesized alchemy taking various forms of entertainment and utility across the world's power grid. As the metaphysics of an electrate
society emerge (Ulmer 2003) the oral traditions of song and folklore in Appalachia containing the collective memory of workers’ rights history and coal industry disasters are paved over by digital entertainment media. The driving force of this artistic research is one of heuretics - to ask what can be made from the coalescence of digital metaphysics progenated by the extraction of fossil fuels and the surface constructions of orality, family, and career under the power disaster of late capitalism. The following projects are efforts to invent the digital apparatus to 'konsult'
the relationship between surface, disaster, and workers' bodies.
As the number of coalmining jobs has been on the decline since the 1970s with the new practice of mountaintop removal mining [MTR]
, the mine wars' shaping of worker's rights,
and coal mining disasters are generationally eroded in cultural memory by a memory-shocking barrage of electronic information in the forms of information, entertainment, and light. (Crary 2014). My work and research is driven by a desire to visualize the fatalism embedded within the reoccurring disasters, emergent in and through Appalachia's rich literate and oral forms.
Using Google Earth, you will find their GIS and LiDAR data compiles into a 3D modeled topography that is especially detailed over coal mining regions. Although Google does not make downloading their 3D geometry available, I developed a handy workflow for grabbing the topography while it is rendering in the software as data is transferred from Google's servers to my personal computer. The script is based on an open-source tool available on GitHub called GLIntercept
that is commonly used to nab 3D models from video games with server-based assets such as Mass Multiplayer Online RPGs (i.e. World of Warcraft). (Horning 2014) It was primarily developed for video game modification communities. This hacker technology allows me to grab a snapshot of strip mine site 3D models from Google Earth's servers. The script, therefore, exports a model whose focal point is finely detailed with the strip mine's flattened surfaces and access roads clearly defined, fanning out into a still-rendering low-polygonal flattened version of the landscape on the outer edges in the cone of vision, a mimetic display of reality.