Topophila – Chasing the Pipeline
Few moving-image artists can claim to have developed and practiced their own recognizable genre, but in the three feature-length pieces he has made since 2010 – Psychohydrography (2010), Tectonics (Special Mention, Concorso Cineasti del presente, 2012), and now Topophilia (2015) – Peter Bo Rappmund has done just that. His work realigns the way we look at linear geographical landmarks, (the Los Angeles River, the Mexico-U.S. border) and his aesthetic has been consistent: a series of photographs shot with an intervalometer, which, when edited together, resemble stunning time-lapse photography, always accompanied by on-location field recordings.
Topophilia (from the Greek for “love of place”) is a portrait of 800-mile-long Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which, as opposed to most of the buried pipes transporting oil through the continental United States, runs above ground for more than half of its distance; it reconfigures the landscape that surrounds it, and vice versa. Over four years, Rappmund traveled from north to south, photographing every mile of the pipeline – amassing tens of thousands of pictures – and presents the linear structure as a continuous building that allows for an energized meditation on the relationship between industry and nature.