A Solution for Now
This transitional work was centered on the Rust Belt region of the United States. I explore its complex history of labor and culture. Most notably the effects that have been incurred from the presence of a once thriving steel industry. After said industry collapsed it left the region in an economic turmoil for the most part of three decades. Part of what I'm interested in is analyzing ways people have and are coping with the loss. On top of that the residents have had to deal with the pollution in their environment from years of unregulated factory byproducts. More recently hydraulic fracking for oil has caused much debate. Although it is providing jobs and new supporting industries to the region it brings new ecological and health risks too. I see a strong correlation between the new oil industry and the old steel industry putting a hard choice on people between work and health. In A Solution for Now I am attempting to mediate the transition from a steel producing society to an energy producing one. Through research I have found that the abandoned derelict steel mills are being devoured and reformed into raw materials to create piping for fracking. I find a poetic but disturbing nature in this process of reclamation. The over-dependence from the steel industry led to the economic and environmental issues that has effected the region for decades. This over-dependence has also laid the ground for new exploitation on which the fracking industry has seized upon. In this work I’m attempting to address my concern of history repeating itself.