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Proposal & Patch Request

With my recent prairie burning videos, I began contemplating the question of destruction versus rehabilitation—what, really, are the positive and negative aspects of complete destruction, such as in a nature conservation effort to revitalize and maintain a space? This concept applies differently to public space, infrastructure, and housing, for example, with many economic and social factors tied in. Obliterating a building to begin anew might provide the opportunity for new technological innovation, greener production, etc. However, the consequential costs of the new structure, be it housing, for example, might exclude various classes of people who were previously experiencing sustainable-living in the area.
Going back to the prairie burn, the thought always pops into my head as to what’s happening at the micro-level during the fire. What we see are spreading flames, billows of smoke, black, singeing… The activity at the micro-level must be equally as excited—desperate I suppose. I’d like to imagine this level, explore it and see what it looks like. The hand-held microscope we were introduced to a few class periods ago could be incorporated into what might be an experimental set-up, with dirt, controlled flame and other works.
I initially began simply with aesthetics in mind—how to combine images from nature in more of an abstract, pattern-illuminating exercise. From that, the fire in the prairie burns delivered quite an obvious statement, one that led me to the considerations above. With the abstraction led to the idea of what kind of things in nature are apparent versus those that are not revealed, which then led to a consideration of the more unseen aspects of urban areas. For example, often while refurbishing efforts go into more visibly public spaces, involving leisure, “thematizing” districts with convention centers, sports complexes, the more underlying structure might experience neglect, such as roads, sewer systems. The question then: what allows for a space to be favored, whereas another might sit, unused, and what can we do to transform this? Should there be any transforming? How can we reinterpret a space to serve artistic purposes? For an interesting geographical read, the novel Tropic of Orange looks at space and its potential from a really unique perspective.

Some ideas for the patch that I would like to incorporate into a composition would be flipping videos horizontally, upside down, as they would help to create new levels of abstraction.