pencil, copper-carbonate and
cupric-oxide on paper
28cm x 54cm

Click on the image for a larger version.

This image was derived from a media photograph of trucks in a traffic jam on the Beijing-Zhangjiakou highway in China. The congestion had developed to the point where it took five days for a vehicle to travel the distance that would only take an hour under normal conditions. This situation developed after China greatly increased its excavation and shipping of coal in order to meet it's growing energy demands.

"Traffic Jam" further develops my exploration of the human condition defined both by the autonomous character inherent to individuals and as integrated elements in a greater systemic continuum. I have found that these conceptions of our experience can serve as parameters to help examine specific situations and articulate discordant relationships.

This extreme congestion occurred in August 2010. The need for coal existed, but an appropriate infrastructure for transporting it did not. I believe that this situation can be seen as an indicator of more systemic flaws in the complex network of systems constructing our human experience. I am especially interested in discrepancies between actual needs of individuals and those of the national and global systems that integrate the individuals. On the most immediate level, the attention given to the situation that the truck drivers had to endure was discordant with that given to the larger system demanding the massive amounts of coal. This can then serve as a point of departure to examine situations such as the socio-economic aspects of the Chinese workforce and energy policies with questionable value in terms of environmental impact and long-term sustainability.

This drawing is a part of developing series in which the sense of perspective common to individual perception significantly contributes to the formal structure of the image. I created the colored ink in the images by means of the electro-chemical process electrolysis, in which low-level electrical current passes through a fluid, thereby splitting the molecules of the fluid. In this case I used copper as the positive and negative poles and water for the fluid, creating the green copper-carbonate which is visible in the drawing. Boiling the copper-carbonate solution transforms it to black cupric-oxide. The sense of perspective and the electro-chemically derived ink are means of communicating the dualistic conception of the human experience that I am exploring. My overall exploration of systems and complex inter-connectivity has been parameterized by my interest in energy and it's dynamic functioning on micro- and macro-scales of experience.