Video Projection on Cornfield, 2018

Nationally owned forests, monuments, and parks are currently experiencing unprecedented popularity in the United States, pushing popular attractions such as Grand Teton National Park to their carrying capacity. Year after year officials find it more difficult to accommodate the greater influx of vehicle traffic, bad behavior, garbage, selfie-taking, and human waste.

Yet this explosion in demand is juxtaposed with the constant threat of the extinction of visitor access at the hands of politicians working to dismantle public lands through budget cuts, increased use fees, and downsizing. As seen with Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah, private interests are working to strip these lands of their protected status so that they may be drilled and exploited for maximum profit.

Attraction is a meditation on the commodification of space, nature, and experience. The video depicts a crowd’s exodus from the popular attraction Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park. This moving image is then projected onto a cornfield on a scarcely visited or photographed piece of agricultural land in rural Nebraska. A video is recorded of the projection, and the sound of the wind through the cornfield is mixed with audio of the Old Faithful crowd anticipating a geyser eruption. This work is an exploration of the various ways humans find value in nature. It asks us to consider whose interest is paramount when it comes to public land, and to reconsider our own relationships to that land.

This project is presented as a large-scale looping digital video projection with immersive audio.

MidGray project.