Aggregate Demand

2021-2022. Plexiglass boxes, TV/VCR combos, video, fabric, light diffusing film.

According to aggregate demand is defined as “economic measurement of the total amount of demand for all finished goods and services produced in an economy. Aggregate demand is expressed as the total amount of money exchanged for those goods and services at a specific price level and point in time.” (Kenton) Aggregate demand over time creates the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, or GDP. Demand and cost exist in two different realities under capitalism. Demand is a measurement of a defined function within a market, where cost is defined through a selective and abstracted lens created by the market. An economic system built on stolen land, stolen labor, and a willfully ignorant belief in infinite resources is incapable of ever producing a true measurement of cost. Appalachia and many parts of the South largely operate as sacrifice zones. A sacrifice zone is “a geographic area that has been permanently impaired by environmental damage or economic disinvestment.” (Roake). Any measurement of aggregate demand coming out of a sacrifice zone is paradoxical.

In this piece, stop-motion videos play on loops from three TV/VCR combos and two TV/DVD combos sitting on plexiglass boxes. The videos are layered photographs taken in central Appalachia, stretching through Tennessee, western North Carolina, and northern Georgia. These photos are both documentation and residue from intentional country drives that have become a significant part of my studio practice. This studio practice marks the difference between intentional country drives and leisure country drives through these conditions:

  1. Drives must be more than one hour.
  2. Drives must be self-contained.
  3. Drives must be self-directed.

The condition of time leads to a drive that is the length of a regular in-studio session of work, which allows for flow state and deep observation. Self-contained means that the drive can not be tacked onto other non-studio-related activities. This keeps intention and focus on the activity itself and not the function of driving. Lastly, self-direction refers to drives that do not rely on maps. The route of the drive develops because of reaction to the environment and desire.

Holding the truth that Appalachia and the South both have a long history of narration without representation, it’s important for me to emphasize that the videos are composites of the residue of this travel through the landscape; they are not attempts at articulation of narrative or a particular frame of reference I am placing around the work. To this end, I created these videos by repeating, layering, and randomizing the segments. The sound in the videos is site recordings from the locations where the photos were taken. The sounds are then also randomized and played on all five videos at once. The videos themselves were created in Adobe Premiere, burned onto a DVD, and transferred to VHS. This both speaks to image banking and the contradiction inherent in the idea of remembering. The iridescent plexiglass boxes are both a vivacious reference to the work of Donald Judd and the authority that form holds in the context of the gallery. I am interested in how the given authority of established art objects affects the viewing of the Appalachian landscape. The height of the boxes and the large rag rug in front of them indicate that the videos are meant to be experienced sitting down. The position of sitting on a rug on the floor in front of a TV is obviously an indication of nostalgia but I am more interested in creating the conditions for the viewer’s own nostalgia to be projected into the experience of the work.

Kenton, Will. “Aggregate Demand Definition.” Investopedia, 23 Oct. 2020, https://www.

Roake, Jessica. “Think Globally, Act Locally: Steve Lerner, ‘Sacrifice Zones,’ at Politics and Prose.” Washington Post [Washington, DC], 22 Sept. 2010, https://www.washingtonpost. com/express/wp/2010/09/23/steve-lerner-book-sacrifice-zones.