Pipeline Resistance is a civic engagement pilot project connecting MassArt first year students with a Boston-based activist group, Mothers Out Front, and an area ecologist, Nathan Phillips, BU Department of Earth and the Environment. Together they will investigate the problems of natural gas pipelines in an urban context, particularly focusing on the many gas leaks in our aging infrastructure. Based on Nathan Phillips data from a methane sensor driven through every street in Boston, which mapped all the leaks in the city, students will observe, record, and create portraits of leak sites in Boston.
“Mothers Out Front has been working to accelerate the shift from dirty to clean energy, by pushing decision-makers to fix gas leaks, stop building new natural gas infrastructure, and increase clean energy requirements. In 2017, Mothers Out Front and its allies (the Gas Leaks Allies) worked collaboratively with the three largest gas utilities in Massachusetts, identifying a more effective methodology for identifying the biggest gas leaks or “super-emitters” – the 7% of leaks that emit 50% of the methane – so that they could be prioritized for repair. This methodology involves measuring the spatial footprint of gas leaks, which turns out to be a good way to identify the largest-volume leaks.
Students will create sound and video projects that communicate the problem, activist engagement, and proposed solutions. These projects will range from documentary to poetic creative responses. A final exhibition of work will be held at MassArt in April 2018.
Additional collaborators include DIana Lempel, Practice Space, Cambridge, and Maria Molteni, an interdisciplinary Boston-based artist.
This work is supported in part by The Boston Civic Media Consortium and MassArt’s Sustainability Initiative.