Western Flag (Spindletop, Texas) 2017

Western Flag (Spindletop, Texas) 2017 depicts the site of the 'Lucas Gusher' - the world's first major oil find - in Spindletop, Texas in 1901, now barren and exhausted. The site is recreated as a digital simulation and placed at its centre a flagpole bearing a flag of perpetually-renewing pressurised black smoke.

The computer generated Spindletop runs in exact parallel with the real site in Texas throughout the year: the sun rising at the appropriate times and the days getting longer and shorter according to the seasons. The simulation is non-durational (having no beginning or end) and is run live by software that is calculating each frame of the animation in real time as it is needed.

Commissioned by Channel 4 for broadcast April 22nd, Earth Day and presented in partnership with Somerset House.
Live presentation at Somerset House, Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court, WC2R 1LA London.
Supported by JJ Charitable Trust, Mark Leonard Trust, Ashden Trust and the Western Flag Supporters Circle

Producer: Werner Poetzelberger
Programmer: Helmut Bressler
Modelers: Max Loegler, Philipp Marcks
Game Engine: Unigine
Installation development: Jakob Illera / Inseq Design 

Exhibitions

Western Flag at Somerset House, London, 2017

Channel 4 and Somerset House launch a new work by John Gerrard presented on a giant LED screen wall in the historic courtyard at Somerset House from 21st to 27th April 2017.

Live presentation at Somerset House, Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court, WC2R

Opening: 20 April, 6:30–8:30pm

Dates: 21 April–27 April
Times: Daily, 7am–11pm

Commissioned by Channel 4, in partnership with Somerset House
Supported by JJ Charitable Trust, Mark Leonard Trust, Ashden Trust and the Western Flag Supporters Circle

www.somersethouse.org.uk

Truth: 24 frames per second at Dallas Museum of Art, Texas, 2017

October 22, 2017 – January 28, 2018 | Chilton I Gallery

Truth: 24 frames per second brings together 24 pioneers of film and video and over six decades of work focused on pressing contemporary themes, such as race relations, political unrest, sexual identity, and the media, to explore the nature of truth and reality in contemporary life. Truth is the first major exhibition in the Museum’s history dedicated to time-based media and is inspired by the DMA’s film and video holdings. Artists and filmmakers featured in Truth include Ant Farm, Dara Birnbaum, Mark Bradford, James Coleman, Phil Collins, Bruce Conner, Willie Doherty, Omer Fast, Morgan Fisher, Coco Fusco, Tatiana Gaviola, John Gerrard, Arthur Jafa, Zoe Leonard & Catherine Gund, Steve McQueen, Shirin Neshat, Pratibha Parmar, Ben Rivers, Rachel Rose, Anri Sala, Chick Strand, Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet, Anne Tallentire, and Rosemarie Trockel.

Research

Response

Selected Press
Western Flag in the media

frieze.com
Eastham, Ben: 'One Take: John Gerrard’s Western Flag (Spindletop, Texas)', 01 June 2017

Creative Review
'WORK: John Gerrard’s virtual flag to fly at Somerset House and on C4',  19 April 2017

Irish Times
Tipton, Gemma: 'John Gerrard on sculpting smoke, false flags and how it all comes down to petroleum', 22 April 2017

dezeen.com
Frearson, Amy: 'John Gerrard creates simulated flag of black smoke as a symbol of climate change', 6 July 2017

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2017 · WESTERN FLAG / SOMERSET HOUSE, LONDON
© Damian Griffiths
2017 · WESTERN FLAG / SOMERSET HOUSE, LONDON
© Will Pryce
2017 · WESTERN FLAG / SOMERSET HOUSE, LONDON
© Will Pryce
2017 · WESTERN FLAG / SOMERSET HOUSE, LONDON
© Damian Griffiths
2017 · WESTERN FLAG / SOMERSET HOUSE, LONDON
© Will Pryce
2017 · WESTERN FLAG / SOMERSET HOUSE, LONDON
© Will Pryce
2017 · TRUTH: 24 FRAMES PER SECOND / DALLAS MUSEUM OF ART, TEXAS
© Photographer: Chad Redmon, Dallas Museum of Art 
2017 · TRUTH: 24 FRAMES PER SECOND / DALLAS MUSEUM OF ART, TEXAS
© Photographer: Chad Redmon, Dallas Museum of Art 
2017 · TRUTH: 24 FRAMES PER SECOND / DALLAS MUSEUM OF ART, TEXAS
© Photographer: Chad Redmon, Dallas Museum of Art 
Making of 'Western Flag (Spindletop, Texas) 2017' John Gerrard tells the story behind his new artwork, by Gramafilm commissioned by Channel4 to mark Earth Day.
Lucas Gusher / Spindletop / 1901 © Tyrell Historical Library, (Beaumont, Texas) the Gilbert Papers
OilCity / Spindletop / 1903 © Tyrell Historical Library, (Beaumont, Texas) the Gilbert Papers
BoilerAvenue / Spindletop / 1903 © Tyrell Historical Library, (Beaumont, Texas) the Gilbert Papers    

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