'Western Flag,' a video and contemporary art exhibit by Irish filmmaker John Gerrard, depicts a billowing black cloud stemming from the end of a tall pipe, like an impermanent yet ever-present scourge on the environment. That's an appropriate connection to draw, as the exhibit is a criticism of the oil industry's history of environmental damage, with the black smoke flag acting as a national marker for the "new world order," as Gerrard terms it.
Though Western Flag looks strikingly realistic, it's actually the product of painstaking graphics work. The video is a simulation that uses real-time computer graphics that converted a comprehensive photographic survey of the site into moving images. The video was thus shot live while software constantly updated the simulated black cloud.
The presentation took place over the course of the entire Earth Day 2017, projected onto a screen outside of London's Somerset House as well as on the UK's Channel Four.
Black Smoke Flags
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