Commission for Ballroom Marfa

As part of the 2012 exhibition Data Deluge, in this commissioned work for Ballroom Marfa I use star calculation software to determine the stars coming into view at sunset on the day gold was discovered in California as well as the stars on the morning the Spindletop oil geyser blew and the modern oil industry began.

Referencing Marfa as setting for the iconic oil-era movie, Giant, the proportions of each piece have the same aspect ratio as Hollywood Westerns, one reading as riding off into the sunset and the other evoking a black-and-white film still. Both works highlight the grandiosity of hope, earnest in its yearning yet shadowed by false promise.

Additional Bodies of Work