Spanning from the Coachella Valley to the edge of the Imperial Valley’s Salton Sea, this series of captured time-based laser drawings was developed alongside the mountain terrain of the San Andreas Fault.
To begin, Seidel derived each laser pattern from creating digital line drawings: gestural markings suggestive of curve progressions seen within the Richter Scale or tectonic deformations, for example, the rattling, shaking, then calming curve of an earthquake. These minimalist sketches were then manipulated into complex transformational sequences scribed by the laser onto the desert’s topology.
The fleeting, yet precise gesture of the laser choreography becomes a visual spectacle at the intersection of seismology, performative drawing and laser interferometry – with a look back to the historic trajectory of Land Art in the American deserts. The inherently shifting San Andreas Fault line becomes fragmented and redefined through the laser’s ephemeral distortion of light, space and the artistic process.
As a true collaboration with the geology of the desert environment, the video documentation of magnitude offers a perceptual insight into the performative actions. Here, from one minute to the next, the fault becomes a geomorphic intersection both reflective and refractive, tracing a portrait of a highly unpredictable landscape.
Laser Drawing Performance, USA 2015
Performance: Robert Seidel
Artist Residency, June 2015
Location: Epicenter Projects, San Andreas Fault
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