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Walking the Years (Santa Fe)

Currents_StillCreated for the Currents New Media Festival 2015, Walking the Years (Santa Fe) is an interactive, site-specific video installation that will allow pedestrians to uncover the changing nature of this particular patch of Santa Fe terrain, starting from the present day and extending into the remote past.

This specific location witnessed the first arrival of the steam-drawn train on the branch line from Lamy, and before that the passage of mule-drawn carretas with produce from the cornfields that crowded in on the town center as recently as the late 19th century. US troops would have marched by here on their way to occupy the old town in 1846, and earlier still, residents of the upper Rio Grande would pass in the opposite direction on their way to the fair in Chihuahua. Moving back in time still further, smoke and flames choke the dusty streets as the Pueblo tribes rise up in revolt and drive the Spanish out of New Mexico in 1680.

For many centuries prior to the arrival of those first Spanish colonists, we might only see the passage of wildlife, or the traces of the occasional movement of ancestral Pueblo townspeople, perhaps forced away from their long-established complexes to the east by drought or conflict.

As we move even further back, we need to jump not in centuries or even millennia, but rather by millions of years at a time, to witness climactic and geological changes in the landscape underfoot. A hundred million years earlier, rivers tumble from the recently uplifted mountains towards a great inland sea, and dinosaurs leave their tracks in the muddy banks. Finally, at the limits of our vision, we see all of New Mexico submerged beneath the shallow Mesozoic sea, disturbed only by pterosaurs soaring overhead and the occasional shark cruising beneath the surface.


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