Fluid Mechanics Remix (2001/2007)

single channel video, stereo 2-channel audio; looping installation or single screening, 6 minutes

The confluence of water, wind, electricity, petroleum, capital, data, transport, and power inspired Fluid Mechanics Remix. The title references the branch of physics studying the behavior of anything that flows. These flows are entangled because our economies rely on water as both commodity and transportation medium for people and goods. Modern container shipping has revolutionized the speed and profitability of global commerce, but even in the sixteenth century the incentive to maximize the efficiency of moving high-value materials led to constructing a brine pipeline in Austria’s bucolic Salzkammergut. Connecting Hallstatt’s mine through the locks at Lauffen to the Ebensee factory, the pipeline intensified extraction, as salt has been crucial for millennia, not just for food preparation and preservation, but for making paper, leather, aluminium, and countless other products. Fluid Mechanics Remix juxtaposes this past with our present: unsustainable industrial development confronts us with urgent climate and ecosystem concerns, producing environmental turbulence. The sound design was intended as a reenactment, by ‘mining’ the audio files embedded in Windows XP and OS9 and remanufacturing them.