This collaboration between Andrea Dale and Jeff Frost was a result of their time spent collecting artifacts from burn scars for Jeff’s multimedia project, California on Fire after the 2016 California Wildfire season. The project was presented in an art show for fire survivors as seen in the Netflix documentary series, Fire Chasers. 

It is a small scale installation comprised of two layers. It contains time lapse video footage of California wildfires visible through three bullet holes that pierce a mirror-polished stainless steel panel. Jeff’s time lapses of smoke, stars, and wildfires are viewed by the act of peering inside of the piece, while the viewer’s reflection in the mirror-polished stainless steel is still simultaneously within their sight. Andrea’s decision to use a gun as a tool for art stems from her desire to destroy the false illusion of perfection and the myopic sense of a disconnected self that permeates our culture. Because of the strength of stainless steel used in the work, Andrea chose an uncommon, large caliber weapon: a .44 magnum revolver. By breaking the lull of false security and separation from nature, we wish to replace it with a state of urgency in regards to climate change effects that exist now. 

The modular panels and large white areas of this piece call to mind the famous White Paintings by Rauschenberg, but this project uses reflective, mirror-polished stainless steel panels instead of canvas in order to place the self-reflectiveness of selfie culture within the space of the piece. We are using minimalism, negative space, and reflective surfaces in order to foster inner reflection on the part of the viewer. Our goal is to place people inside of the artwork rather than allowing them to remain outside the artwork as a passive viewer. This then moves the view beyond the formalism that attracted them to the work. 

John McLaughlin’s hard edge abstraction paintings inform the aesthetic of this piece via the use of narrow vertical panels, which mimic the rigid taxonomies that confine us. Hard lines and negative space in this piece represent the gaps between political ideologies and religious beliefs that either support or deny the existence of human driven climate change. Parts of modern society generally behave as if we are exempt from the laws of nature because we have technology. We live in cities of concrete, steel and glass. As modern day humans, we seem to forget we are a part of nature, not separate from it. This work puts the viewer back into nature, and face to face with the laws that govern it.