The Parkfield Interventional EQ Fieldwork (PIEQF) was a geologically interactive, machine earthwork that was temporarily installed in the remote township of Parkfield, Central California, USA. During 91 Days of intervention between the 18th August and 16th November *02008 the installation reflected 4000-4500 Californian seismic events. PIEQF was interfaced with the US Geological Survey seismic monitoring network and triggered by near real-time reported earthquake waves from Magnitude (M) 0.1 and above.
* The Long Now Foundation uses five digit dates, the extra zero is to solve the deca-millennium bug which will come into effect in about 8,000 years.
This conceptual machine earthwork was a feedback loop between the seismicity of California and a physical and mechanical representation of all Californian seismic events. Each time a Californian earthquake occurred, an array of 5/8 inch steel rods attached to an earthquake shake table oscillated and resonated reflecting the dynamic nature of the Californian landscape. On average 30-60 seismic events occur throughout California daily.
Click HERE to view PIEQF Image Archive
How did the intervention work?
PIEQF was triggered by ALL seismic events that occured throughout the state of California during the period of intervention. The conceptual basis behind this was to bring all seismic events to a hypothetical epicentre and to the surface of the earth. Each time a seismic event was reported the horizontal motion of the earthquake shake table was actuated. Surrounding the earthquake shake table and buried within the excavation an array of vertical motion sensors called L10 Geophones were installed. These Geophones were excited when walked over or jumped upon which triggered the vertical motion of the shake table. Visitors to PIEQF engaged interactively with the shake table becoming seismic events themselves when stomping next to a Geophone.
The PIEQF shake table slept at night between 9.30pm and 6.30am. The control system kept polling seismic events overnight, then replayed them at 6.30am every morning. After this morning replay sequence, PIEQF switched into live mode and was triggered by all near-realtime Californian only reported earthquakes which were digitally disseminated direct from USGS field sources and triggered PIEQF anywhere between 30sec - 3min after actual earthquakes occured.
What was PIEQF all about?
PIEQF was a conceptual intervention within geological time. An action and a system designed to intervene and introduce a humanistic time scale to the notion of deep time. This purely immersive and mechanical visualisation system brought to the surface the frequent disturbances that occur frequently deep within a seismic landscape.
PIEQF has now become a blip on the geological radar! PIEQF was an interactive earthwork; connecting, mapping and creating a mark, a temporary scar and a reference point within geological time. The end result; a NO trace, performance based, geological action in which a digital archive will remain well into the future after the intervention is complete but continue life as a series of documents and myth.
part Machine part Earthwork part Performance
Click HERE to view Concept Models and Video
Click HERE to Download the Original 2007 PIEQF Concept Proposal (21mb)