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Dust Storm (Dalhart, Texas) (2007) - John Gerrard

Dust Storm (Dalhart, Texas) 2007 is based on a single archival photograph of a storm from the 1930s American Dust Bowl, a man-made environmental catastrophe caused by a surge in petroleum based power, and a major contributor to what became the Great Depression. No moving images of the event are known to exist. The production of this work involved the virtual reconstruction - based on hundreds of the artists own photographs and films - of a ten-mile square section of Texan landscape close to the town of Dalhart, a landscape dotted with windmills, farms and fences. This documentation was subsequently enhanced by publicly accessible satellite and topographical data. Once activated, a virtual storm unfolds in a sculptural and constantly random manner within the reconstructed landscape.

Note: John Gerrard will give an artist's talk at MOMA on October 25th, at 7pm, for their Modern Mondays series. More information here.

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Bob Roe Oct. 4 2010 21:07Reply

The thinking may have changed since I was an agriculture major in college, but as I recall much of the dust bowl was caused by 1. prolonged drought, 2. Poor farming practices such as failure to rotate crops and leave some fields fallow and failure to put in wind blocks such as tree rowsthat would have protected the fields.