The work in black damp draws on the story of the town of Centralia, once a community of about 1600 people in Pennsylvanias anthracite coal region. A fire has been burning underneath the erstwhile town for forty years and it is believed there is enough coal underneath it to fuel the fire for two hundred more. Moyer uses installation and single channel video to explore the strange story of Centralia and the experience of ownership.
black damp stems from a series of experimental non-fiction video works about the landscape of American tragedy. Focusing on sights that are largely un-sanctified, each installment attempts to recount and memorialize the narrative of a community that is generally not prioritized in national memory. Loss lies at the heart of the work.
Lydia Moyer is a media maker and visual artist who lives in Virginia. She earned her undergraduate degree from Alfred University and her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her work has been screened and exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at Festival International de lImage Environnementale in Paris. She runs the new media program in the art department at the University of Virginia.