The studio will travel on a ‘distributed road trip’ to sites throughout the pipeline route.
Sites, most within an 8-12 hour drive of St. Louis, have been selected as far south as Houston and as far north as North Dakota. Student teams will split into groups in cars, and focus on investigating boom towns, off shore extraction sites, junctions and urban centers. The travel itself is a project. Students will keep a travelogue and document their study through photos, videos, and interviews.
Sites for study include offshore oil rigs, once sleepy towns transformed overnight into centers of fracking production, once prosperous towns devolved into ghost towns, new company towns awaiting the onrush of the new material economy, private museums and monuments to Big Oil run by former oil tycoons, and the towns in the path of pipeline itself.