And the Land Grew Quiet
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ
And the Land Grew Quiet is an installation that contrasts the cycles of development and speculation in our own time with those of the Great Depression by mixing technology and nature as well as fiction and history. It was conceived as a single project that mapped urban growth on the land, and nature’s resistance to the man-made within the sublime context of the harsh but awe-inspiring landscape and climate of central Arizona. The trials and tribulations of American agriculture, its roles in contemporary globalization, and its continually debated ecological practices create a foundation for Moore’s explorations. Un-inked embossed paper with quotes from his grandmother’s journal, who grew up and passed away working on the farm, were juxtaposed with excerpts of the Joad family story told in the Grapes of Wrath. 140 feet of twelve foot walls displayed maps representing land use transition throughout the space. CAD programming and CNC routers helped achieve the appearance that the walls had been embossed with the ghosted image of transitioning from the rural to hyper-developed suburban landscape. In the back of the space an oversize tract home sunk into the museum floor at two angles. It was inspired by the dust bowl homes that were buried in the topsoil blown in from Midwest farms, as well as the countless homes abandoned in mid-construction sprinkled across the United States as a result of the latest housing market crash.