Apr
9
2012
<em>Mesocosm (Wink, Texas)</em>
 

Marina Zurkow
Mesocosm (Wink, TX), 2012
Hand-drawn animation (color, silent), custom software, computer, screen or projector
Dimensions variable, landscape orientation
146-hour cycle (24-minute day, 146-hour year)
Edition of 5, 2 AP

“Mesocosm (Wink, Texas)” —the feature, large-scale video installation in “Necrocracy”— is part of an ongoing series of animated landscapes that develop and change over time in response to software-driven data inputs. The title is drawn from the field of environmental science and refers to experimental, simulated ecosystems, which allow for manipulation of the physical environment and are used for biological, community, and ecological research. They are drawn by hand, frame-by-frame, yet their choreographies are dynamic—not predetermined or canned—dictated by constraints in real-time. Each of the works in “Mesocosm” is long in duration and recombines perpetually as inputs determine order, density, and interrelationships. They are looped, and have no beginning or end. Because change happens slowly, but can be radical over time, the works are intended to be seen in public places where people gather or pass through frequently, or lived with like a painting—in living rooms and meeting spaces.

Wink, Texas is the most recent landscape to be animated as part of this “Mesocosm” series. In the animation, a large sinkhole— the “Wink Sink 2” located on located on private oil company property in the small Texas town of Wink—boils, gushes, flows and expels objects: plastic bags, oil and dark clouds that whirl out of the sinkhole’s vortex in ghostly choreography. Oil refineries burn off gases in plumes in the background as an occasional train or coyote lumbers past. This sinkhole has been widening steadily since it emerged in 2002; here, it appears as a natural geological event, complete with picnic rest stop furnishings. By day, the landscape is inhabited by a diversity of bird life, prairie dogs, insects, pronghorn antelope, HazMat workers and—depending on the season—by migrating monarch butterflies, snakes and sandhill cranes.

zurkowinstall_4

zurkow_mesocosm(winktexas)

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