RECOVERIES: CHICAGO TRAILS
MAT RAPPAPORT / RANGE MOBILE LAB
Range Mobile Lab’s (RML) “Recoveries: Chicago Trails” explores the role of persistent infrastructure as a means of understanding difficult histories by retracing the location of historic trails used for centuries by indigenous people. RML uses a 1995 GMC step van to collect, process, and present works that engage people along the routes they travel and where they gather. The truck is both a sculptural object and a performer that maps pathways through defined neighborhoods and between institutions, and traces histories to draw connections between habitation, infrastructure, and institution.
In this performance, we travel across sections of the ancient Lake Street and Green Bay trail routes as we link the Chicago Cultural Center to Navy Pier. By following these trail maps in the modern environment, we remember and essentially protest the erasure of Native American histories that took place right in the heart of our bustling city. As the RML travels along this route, it captures, live-remixes, and projects the resulting video on screens set in the side windows of the truck. Thus the RML creates a new imagined map that makes visible these inherent indigenous histories.