Foothill Freeway

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Emergency! Season 2, Episode 12 (1972). Captured as part of The Cascade – Moments in the Televisual Desert. Image depicts a Foothill Freeway bridge, running East-West, with the Los Angeles County Cascades in the distance. 

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A recent Google Street View image (and screen cap) showing the same location

Part of my ongoing Cascade work is related to the complex, cross-pollination (and conflation) of media and site, television and memory, location and dislocation. Of particular interest is the strange, media-cum-reality Google Street View database, which houses an ongoing, organic and constantly shifting dataspace that maps the movement of humans and development across much of the planet.

In my thesis, I expanded on a suggestion made by my mentor at the time, Kevin McCoy: many older television programs act as early forms of Google Street View themselves–an idea well represented in series like Emergency!, Adam-12, CHiPS, Knight Rider, Starsky & Hutch and The A-Team (to name a few).  These programs not only provide a rolling, documentary undercurrent, they also reinvent the candid spaces they intentionally and inadvertently capture when environmental footage becomes B-roll which haunts televisual structure like a ghost. Repetition and loops become part of the conceptual language of programming and of our parceled viewing experience.

As I take the Cascade in new directions, building videos, playing with new levels of digital imaging and paintings, I am revisiting the relationship between program footage and entries into the Google database–reflecting on the distance (or lack of distance) between forms of landscape documentation, invention and reinvention through various methods of capture. I am using more Google Street Views (literally and conceptually) in the implementation of new work.

Here are a few more Google Street Views of the same area represented by the above screen cap, from The Cascade:

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The last GSV (above) is shot past the overpass (where the emergency vehicles are parked in the television capture), heading up Highway 14.

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