Individual Work
Legends of Michigami: Riding the Rust Belt

Riding the Rust Belt is one in a series of (hyper)videos that comprise the Legends of Michigami project. The videos map the routes of trains along the shores of Lake Michigan. These works trace a drama of the western Great Lakes – stories revealed in place and landscape. The persistent motion of the train is metaphoric for time passing whether we want it so or not – for the way human beings (in the name of progress or circumstance) are swept up in inevitable social and economic shifts. Riding the Rust Belt addresses the evolution of industrial cities on the shores of Lake Michigan. It takes place in one day: a ride from Millennium Station in Chicago to Gary, Indiana. 25 miles on the ground and decades back in time.

Author statement: 
One specific artistic choice in my train video works is that of platforms. The move to make a piece of e-lit almost transparently accessible across devices imposes significant design accommodations. Legends of Michigami can be read on a variety of platforms (mobile, tablet, desktop, screen projection). Even decisions as critical as type face and size needed to be made with various resolutions and screen sizes in mind. Moreover, as in all time-based narrative productions, the timing is a compromise between image-reading speed and text-reading capability. The Legends of Michigami works continue my career-long experiments with narrative structure and the blending of sensory media. The layering of time and space, the merging of history and private symbolism and events, and the presence of multiple voices are all part of the storyline. Each element: text, image, sound, and structure is almost equally important in conveying information about the story world.