Art In Residence is pleased to present Networks of Power by Debra Scacco.
Networks of Power oppugns the priority of industry over community by addressing physical and systemic power structures. Inspired by the proliferation of solar farms in the Antelope Valley, Networks of Power constructs and deconstructs the extractive nature of urban development. Based upon systems of gathering, centralizing and distributing solar power, Networks of Power investigates process, control and community. While solar power is vital in eliminating reliance on fossil fuels, there is little published research to aid understanding of long-term consequences. The majority of this rapidly expanding industry is held in private control, and lacks a centralized body governing long-term impacts on ancestral lands and local communities nation-wide.
At 2,200 square miles, the Antelope Valley is a national leader in the production of solar energy. Yet a deregulated system based on selling to the highest bidder lacks transparency around how much or little of this power beneﬁts Antelope Valley directly; and provides little insight into ownership and accountability structures. While Networks of Power is inspired by solar, similar challenges exist in the extraction of wind, water and lithium battery farms (also evidenced in or near Antelope Valley).
Without self-examination and conscious prevention we risk contributing to a legacy of private industry that arrogates the health of local populations and ecosystems in the name of progress. The need for solar power is unequivocal, as is the need for a critical examination of the practice of free enterprise controlling access to basic human needs. Climate solutions are not monolithic and cannot be achieved without sacrifice. Networks of Power raises questions of willing, impact and inheritance. It is a plea to learn from our history, to consider the communities whose lands and ecosystems are severed, to accept that there is no solution to the culture of consumerism, and to collectively and with care plan our future accordingly.