The Colorado Catastrophe (2016)

Two-channel video installation


The Colorado Catastrophe presents two parallel maps of the United States, depicted as evolving over a period of years.  In one map, a sequence of states lights up in pink; in the other, a sequence of states lights up in blue.  States are initially "added" to the two maps in an unsynchronized manner, before becoming synchronized, and ultimately unsynchronized again.  The maps depict what appears to be simple time-series cross-sectional data, but in the absence of context it is unclear whether the underlying information is electoral, epidemiological, or something else idiosyncratically personal.  The title, The Colorado Catastrophe, focuses the viewer's attention on the Centennial State, and suggests a key to unlocking the installation's ultimate meaning.  Yet many stories could be told that fit the data; visitors' interpretations are therefore likely to diverge and to reflect these visitors' own personal histories and interests.  The piece explores the artist's fascination with "concealed narratives" that nonetheless hide in plain sight, and with the potential roles of data as a form of storytelling.