AMN Reviews: Christopher DeLaurenti – To the Cooling Tower, Satsop (GD Stereo)

434Seattle´s Christopher DeLaurenti on an urban excursion in deterratorialized space. To the Cooling Tower, Satsop is the second offering from GD Stereo´s Improvisational Architecture series, housed in a niftily tactile, oversize letter press edition. Satsop was supposed to be one of twin nuclear power plants intended to bookend Washington state. Cooling towers and a network of tunnels were completed but the project failed twenty-five years ago and the area was fenced off. DeLaurenti entered these forgotten figments of progress, and in its passageways discovered an environment “that altered my sense of depth, space and presence.”

Slogging through the bilge water of this decrepit flagship, he heads for the cooling tower. Within, there is the splash of each step and crazy acoustics only a big, cement tube can produce, and without, there is melody – it could be the song of huge machinery heard from some distance, but it is an insidiously pleasing overture nonetheless. When it falls silent, the undeafening roar of air passing by him scores DeLaurenti´s quest, which was completed, entrance to exit, in exactly the amount of time recorded, forty-four minutes and five seconds.

Oddly enough, this rubber booted, cemented and probably filthy trek is romantically nostalgic, for who as a kid exploring local ravines didn´t discover some unknown tunnel or culvert that just had to be spelunked?

Stephen Fruitman