|Copper production traced from Nevada to China in an experimental film that uses animated sequences of thousands of digital stills.|
China Town (Lucy Raven, China/United States, 2009; 51 min.) Traces copper mining and production from an open pit mine in Nevada to a smelter in China, where the semi-processed ore is sent to be smelted and refined. Considering what it actually means to "be wired" and in turn, to be connected, in today's global economic system, the video follows the detailed production process that transforms raw ore into copper wire--in this case, the literal digging of a hole to China--and the generation of waste and of power that grows in both countries as byproduct. The video uses an experimental edit structure, composed entirely of animated sequences of digital still photographs and ambient sound recorded on location. Thousands of individual images with varying frame rates are combined in a granular, accumulative narrative, that structurally echoes the many discrete processes, human efforts, and geographic locations that go into copper mining and commodity production.