Along the Mon

collaboration with Lindsey french and Erin Mallea, 2020-2021.

Along the Mon is an acoustic and video portrait of several interconnected sites of energy extraction, airborne transmissions, and ruderal ecologies on stolen land in the Monongahela Valley and Marcellus Shale region in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

The performance was first broadcast live as part of Jefferson Park Experimental: a series of live, free performances organized by Keith Helt in Chicago, IL and streamed online. The performance consisted of a live broadcast, mixing pre-recorded audio and video from sites in the Monongahela Mon Valley and Marcellus Shale region with live sound transmitted from both Cheswick Generating Station and Clairton Coke Works. A second iteration was created for Great Lakes Association of Sound Studies Turbulent Sounds conference. 

We have been meeting as an informal research group for the past year, along with another member, to understand the region through an eco-critical lens. Our research usually takes the form of field trips to various sites in Southwestern Pennsylvania, with its layered histories and present struggles, learning as we go about the layers of industry, ecology, and settler colonialism that are visible or made invisible. For this piece, we focused on sites of energy extraction, particularly related to atmospheric release. In the context of COVID-19 and  the impact of national deregulatory actions on air quality within the region, airborne transmission became the framework for the performance, sounds, and video.

Along the Mon is included as an entry in Emergency Index vol. 10: performance in the time of pandemic