Christina McPhee opens Carrizo-Parkfield Diaries on Saturday, March 5, 2005 at Transport Gallery in downtown Los Angeles. An intense exploration of earthquake terrains and traumatic memory, the multimedia installation, including architecturally scaled digital chromogenic prints, digital video, interactive net art, and drawing, will run from Saturday, March 5 through Friday, April 22, 2005. Join Christina McPhee and a group of collaborative artists for an opening night reception and the premier screening of her short film "SALT", from 7:00pm - 10:pm at Transport Gallery.
Christina McPhee builds very large digital chromogenic prints from documentary medium format and digital photography, digital video, and drawings made on site at seismically active zones in central California – Carrizo Plains, where the San Andreas Fault is most visible, and Parkfield, a continuously active seismic landscape, where a recent 6.0 quake yields a rich archive of geologic data. The artist incorporates layers of field observation within a dream-like sequence of abstract images, where passages of linear structures and shadowed mass allude to ruins and debris in the wake of recent tremors. By means of architectural scale, at 50 to 120 inches, each print is like a page torn from a cinematic notebook—film stills from an event-scene that has almost materialized, laced with traces from geomorphologic maps: the artist samples open source visualizations of changing Parkfield surface and subsurface terrains in the aftermath of the 6.0 tremor, created by geologists Ramón Arrowsmith and Nathan Toké ( see www.activetectonics.la.asu.edu. The Arrowsmith/Toké visualizations show how, three days after a major quake, the surface cracks are still creeping open in a process of continuous adjustment. In the Diaries, layers of images, text and sound from the Carrizo Plains and Parkfield react to one another and in so doing build an infrastructure that resembles the slow rebuilding of memory after trauma. In digital video and sound installation at Transport, the Diaries trace increasing complexities of form, then dissolve or melt at the edge of consciousness. Echoing the appearance and disappearance of surface cracks and shifts in the aftermath of major disturbances in the field, the diaries try to access the neural topologies of nightmare and trauma, where visualization is never completely clear, and triggers both illuminate and occlude memory. Carizzo-Parkfield Diaries translate online as well, into an interactive topography that triggers fictional text together with layers from the print images, video and locative sound from Carrizo and Parkfield. The triggers come from a selective crashing of online live data against archived data from the recent 6.0 quake. Conceptually, the live data’s reach into the past changes the archive from a static resource to an uncanny future array: layers of fiction trigger from the disturbances, much like the way human memory reconfigures itself after shock. The online interactive work correlates with the topologies of new terrain after tremor. Live seismic data is accessed via the California Integrated Seismic Network, recording spectral velocity, acceleration and other measurements. The online diaries are produced by Christina McPhee in collaboration with writer Jeremy Hight (Los Angeles famous for 34 North 118 West, code designer Sindee Nakatani (San Francisco) and the British net artists Kate Southworth and Patrick Simons of Glorious Ninth. Field notes in a subliminal world, the Diaries record active tectonic traces of a geologic diary within the shifting terrain of human remembrance and amnesia.