suckerPUNCH: describe your project
blake BETHARDS: The Los Angeles basin rests above the third largest oil deposit in the United States. During the late 1800’s and into the 1950’s, oil derricks and wells were visible throughout much of LA County (Venice beach, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Long Beach, & Pasadena). Today, much of this infrastructure has been taken down as drilling technologies have improved and in order to accommodate the high demand for property in the region. What most Angeleno’s don’t know is that there are still several dormant derricks hidden within the city, concealed behind false walls or within nondescript buildings.
This speculative project endeavors to answer the question: what might happen if this infrastructure were revealed? The design proposal explores bioengineering, botany, agriculture, and entomology in the development of a bio-lattice. This exoskeleton, the formal result of a bio-refinement process which the crude oil undergoes, serves as an ecological habitat for honey bees and seed-plants. The tower is literally a pollen factory. An attempt at re-programing outdated oil towers for the sake of food security.
sP: what or who influenced this project?
bB: Tronic Studios, Dvein Studios, Steve Pike, Preston Scott Cohen
sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
bB: Primus, Phoenix, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Lost, Avatar
sP: whose work is currently on your radar?
bB: Marcos Cruz & Marjan Colletti, Philipe Rahm, Kivi Sotamaa