One in a series of video installations I am working on that show the animated drawing of landscape maps featured in popular works of fiction.
This was shown in the exhibition, Chipka at Netwerk, Aalst Belgium earlier this year. It shows the developing landscape of the American west as I imagine it, a kind of prequel to the map illustrated in the title sequence of Bonanza (1959-1973) drawn by Robert Temple Ayres. The animation lasts for 10 minutes and is shown in a continuous loop projected onto a large map table.
The drawing begins with a blank page – Rivers, and hills begin to form – Trees take root and the land becomes forested – Pioneers drawn by the promise of riches, pan for gold and mine for silver – Outposts and trade routes are established – Areas of the forest are cleared as towns and trade grow – Cattle roam across enclosed ranches – Political and legal authority is imposed – Banks are built – The economy booms with the development of transport networks and new technology – Factories are built drawing in a new labour force – Towns and trading posts join to form cities – The map burns – The cycle repeats