4K film, 16:10 aspect ratio, 3D ambisonic soundscape, continuous Video loop, 32 minutes
Controlled Burn invites the viewer on a cosmic journey through deep time, soaring through an aerial landscape of imploding fireworks. Shot with a first-person drone, this disorienting voyage takes in open pit coal mines, decommissioned oil rigs, and rusting cooling towers. Throughout, amid whirling smoke and fire, implosions are intercut by flashing images of primordial unfurling ferns and fluttering moths—beings that evolved during the carboniferous geological period. Appearing at subliminal speed, Charrière offers these organisms as both spirit guides and living tokens for the vitality of fossil fuels. Additionally, as markers for how the agency of coal, oil, and tar has come to haunt our contemporary imagination—taking root in our dreamlife; infesting visions of the world to come. Linking celebratory pyrotechnics with extraction architectures, explosive momentum and technological obsolescence, Controlled Burn stages the fantasy of a dramatic return to sources of energy via implosion: a time before smoke.