Ghost Hangar Installation
8 images Created 30 Apr 2012
Like many people who grew up in the South Bay, I have a shared history with Moffett Field, the largest Superfund site in Santa Clara County. Moffett Field is home to the iconic Hangar One, a colossal structure that covers over eight acres and is one of the largest freestanding structures in the world. As a small child I rode up and down in hot air balloons inside this hangar during annual NASA Christmas parties, and I remember experiencing the incredible vastness of the space known to produce its own weather systems within its walls; including rain and fog. Built in 1931 to house a naval airship (the dirigible USS Macon), the hangar is now rife with controversy as it was recently found to be leaking toxic chemicals into the wetlands bordering the San Francisco Bay. Efforts are currently underway to remove the toxic outside “skin” from the hangar as it contains PCBs, lead and asbestos.In the mixed media installation “Ghost Hangar,” the sand blasted, etched glass is combined with the photographic image and used as an extension of photography. Vaporous text etched in the over-laid glass underneath the hangar image suggests the hidden toxicity that exists below ground level. This dichotomy between what exists above and below the ground continues through each of the three pieces. In the final piece a ghost-like image of the hangar is all that remains of the hanger while the toxicity underground remains present; suggesting the unsettling reality that this pollution will long outlive the hangar structure itself. Integral to this work is the imagery on the backside of the hanging pieces. These aerial shots are of the wetlands in close proximity to the hangar depicting the die-off that has occurred in the bay, threatening several endangered species. With this imagery I am able to highlight yet another side of this issue that not only affects people, but other forms of life as well. In the fabrication of these pieces I chose to use materials such as steel cables and steel girders to highlight the industrial nature of this subject matter.