Examples of Work – Christina Battle

Work Example #1:

dearfield, colorado
a part of Mapping the Prairies Through Disaster
installation, 2012

A Sunday in mid-April 1935 dawned quiet, windless, and bright. In the afternoon, the sky went purple – as if it were sick – and the temperature plunged. People looked northwest and saw a ragged-topped formation on the move, covering the horizon. The air crackled with electricity.  Snap. Snap. Snap. Birds screeched and dashed for cover. As the black wall approached, car radios clicked off, overwhelmed by the static.  Ignitions shorted out. Waves of sand, like ocean water rising over a ship’s prow, swept over roads. Cars went into ditches. A train derailed. – Timothy Egan (The Worst Hard Time)

Pairing video of the now ghost town Dearfield, Colorado, first hand archival accounts of drought across the prairies and VLF recordings of sferics, dearfield, colorado is projected within a room covered in aluminum.  As the video imagery reflects in the floor and walls of the gallery space, text within the projection recalls the metallic skies and electrified air often described during dust storms of the prairies.

What Will Be – A review of dearfield, colorado’s exhibition at Gallery 44 in Toronto by Daniella E. Sanader – BlackFlash Magazine 31.3 Fall 2014

NOW Magazine Toronto Nature’s fury: What Was Will Be probes communities’ experience of natural disasters review of the dearfield, colorado exhibition at Gallery 44 By Fran Schechter.

Nature’s fury: What Was Will Be probes communities’ experience of natural disasters – A review of dearfield, colorado’s exhibition at Gallery 44 in Toronto – NOW Magazine, by Fran Schechter.

Photo-Art Show Takes on Topsy-Turvy Weather – A review of dearfield, colorado’s exhibition at Gallery 44 in Toronto – Canadian Art Magazine Online, by Leah Sandals

Christina Battle & Kristie MacDonald: What Was Will Be A review of dearfield, colorado’s exhibition at Gallery 44 in Toronto –, by Shellie Zhang

“What Was Will Be And Yellow Font Forest Green,” curatorial essay accompanying exhibition at Gallery 44 by Caoimhe Morgan-Feir, 2014

Electrified Air and Restless Skies – A review of dearfield, colorado’s opening exhibition at MCA Dever in Art & Shadows – by Meredith Tromble, 2012

Documentation from – What Was Will Be – Gallery 44 (Toronto) – January 2014







dearfield, colorado video loop

Some Notes:

Dearfield, Colorado was an early African-American settlement in Weld County founded by O.T. Jackson on May 5, 1910. With 700 individuals living in the town at its height in 1921, Dearfield ultimately succumbed to the effects of drought during the Great Depression. By 1940 it was reduced to a population of 12.

Sferics (radio atmospheric signals) are broadband electromagnetic impulses resulting from a lightning strike or strikes.

The Science of how Dust Storms become Electrified:
“The process starts with a little dry wind in a dusty, arid place that kicks up small dust grains so they collide with larger sand grains…the smaller grains steal electrons from the larger grains, giving the smaller grains a negative charge and the larger grains a positive charge…Next, the negatively charged smaller grains are lofted above the ground by breeze, creating a negatively charged region in the air above the positively charged ground. That separation of charges is an electrical field.” – “Dust Storms Are Electric” – Larry O’Hanlon

Archival research done at: The Archives at the University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries (Boulder, CO); The Archives & Special Collections of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries (Lincoln, NE); The Library / Archives of the Nebraska State Historical Society (Lincoln, NE); The Saskatchewan Archives (Regina & Saskatoon, SK); The University of Saskatchewan Archives (Saskatoon, SK); The City of Regina Archives (Regina, SK); the Alberta Provincial Archives (Edmonton, AB); the City of Edmonton Archives (Edmonton, AB); The Blair-Caldwell African-American Research Library of the Denver Public Library (Denver, Colorado); The Hazel E. Johnson Research Center at the Greeley History Museum (Greeley, Colorado).

Work Example #2:

The Twelve Devil’s Graveyards Around the World
(was titled ‘fog vortex’ for the Images Festival 2013)

mixed media installation
[HD video, sound, 16mm loop, projected light, archival magazine]

Best Canadian Work Jury Prize at the WNDX FesTival of Moving Image in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Inspired by the 12 vile vortices as coined by Ivan T. Sanderson in his 1972 article “The Twelve Devil’s Graveyards Around the World”, this recent work documents an imagined rift in the landscape where time and space fold in upon themselves.  Believed to be sites plagued by magnetic anomalies and other unexplained phenomena, the 12 vile vortices roughly correlate to the shape of triangles (the most famous being the Bermuda Triangle and the Dragon’s Triangle (Devil’s Sea)). The vortices are distributed equidistant around the globe with five located on a latitude near the Tropic of Capricorn, five near the Tropic of Cancer, and one each at either of the Poles. Together they form the vertices of an icosahedron. A mixed media piece consisting of multiple projections, the work hints at these geographic anomalies and seeks to place viewers literally inside one of these twelve vortices.

press release (pdf) for exhibition at WARC Gallery in Toronto (Aprill/May 2013) as part of the Images Festival, 2013

Cinema Scope online, “Between the Walls: Images Festival 2013” Review of The Twelve Devil’s Graveyards Around the World’ (was titled fog vortex) exhibition at the Images Festival 2013 by Michael Sicinski, 2013

[Documentation from the Images Festival 2013 – Exhibition at WARC Gallery (Toronto)]





installation walk through by The Images Festival

[PASSWORD = fog] video loop (projected on wall)

Work Example #3:

Archived Disasters [The Evidence]
I. Bridge Collapse
II. Unexplained Lights in Skies
III. Sightings of Unknown Creature

mixed media installation, 2012
commissioned by the Ryerson Image Arts Centre
curated by Doina Popescu & Peggy Gale
Archival Dialogues: Reading the Black Star Collection
[September 29 thru December 16, 2012]

Christina Battle examines photographs of disastrous events across several decades of press imagery, spilling over the confines of the archive and introducing interpretations resulting from her careful study of news stories published in response to the disasters including those from the ever popular ‘yellow press’, which in turn takes her multi media project into the uncanny realm of science fiction.

article about the group exhibition By David Balzer in Canadian Art Magazine: Ryerson Image Centre Sheds Light On Photo’s Role (September 26, 2012).

[documentation from Ryerson Exhibition, 2012]




Mothman video loop from installation (projected on wall)

Farmhouse Loop (monitor inside wooden box)


Christina Battle –
Originally from Edmonton, Alberta (Canada), Christina Battle is currently based in Denver, Colorado. Her works are often inspired by the role of non-official archives, our notions of evidence and explore themes of history and counter-memory, political mythology and environmental catastrophe. She has exhibited internationally in festivals and galleries including: The Images Festival (Toronto), The London Film Festival (London, England); The Toronto International Film Festival (wavelengths); the Festival du Nouveau Cinema (Montreal); The International Film Festival Rotterdam (The Netherlands); the Jihlava Documentary Festival (Czech Republic); the 2006 Whitney Biennial: “Day for Night” (New York); YYZ Artists’ Outlet (Toronto); White Box (New York); Deluge Contemporary Art (Victoria, BC), The Foreman Art Gallery (Sherbrooke, QC); MCA Denver; the Aspen Art Museum; Gallery 44 (Toronto); and the Ryerson Image Centre (Toronto). Christina is a contributing editor to INCITE Journal of Experimental Media and a co-curator & organizer of the media arts exhibition series Nothing To See Here in Denver.

View CV (pdf)