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Erin Espelie

Erin Espelie became interested in mining when she made her film The Lanthanide Series (2014), visiting the Mountain Pass Mine in the Mojave Desert. She teaches moving-image arts and co-directs NEST (Nature, Environment, Science & Technology) Studio for the Arts at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Subterranean Cinema: A Return to the Geo-Imaginaries of the Hollow Earth

We are in desperate search of spaces that offer us greater degrees of darkness—be that the cinema or underground caverns or possibly the greater cosmos. These alter-territories hold the promise of maximum separation from the 7.5 billion other people on the planet. In gravitating toward sites of absence, specifically the mine, the cave, the hole, where cameras are insufficient tools of capture (if not rendered entirely useless), film artists have found overlapping themes that go beyond traditional ecological concerns of diminishing resources and compromised landscapes.

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The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2020

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