erasure is a series of time-lapses created in the Trans Pecos region of West Texas, where land appears to be vast and seemingly endless, yet of which 95% is private and, for the most part, owned by just 1% of the population, primarily ranchers.
I am working on researching and writing voiceover/sound for erasure iv, a 44:19 minute timelapse piece in West Texas that equates the process of camouflaging a bulk overhead feeder on a working ranch 30 miles south of Marfa, Texas with the erasure of the feeder as Western modern agrarian infrastructure and a symbol/remnant of settler colonialism. The laborious process of erasure iv is grounded in the desire not only to establish a relationship with the land, but also, to expose the lengths to which other concocted mythologies are fabricated, layer by layer. These American lands are associated with an intensely private, nonurban identity only accessible to a small percentage of the population. Well-defined fences and boundaries have become integral to one’s private American identity and even a major feature of the landscape.
The voiceover aims to contextualize and quantify the land use and re-examine the forgotten, complex land histories of the surrounding areas of the ranch on which the timelapse occurs, using personal accounts, field notes, interviews, surveys, interspersed with field recordings and other organic sound matter. With the voiceover, I examine the myth of the West as an Edenic paradise symbolizing pastoral simplicity and economic independence based on subsistence farming as well as a site of quests for land and dominance–the way in which these mythologies are still present in West Texas today, and how they have, in turn, erased prior land histories of West Texas.