Exhibitions & Events



Lost Prairie Valley

Planetary Bayou

Field Guide to Environmental Crime: Houston and the Oil Coast

Dead Zones

Extinction Simulation Landscapes

Lunar Mosaics

MacDowell Trilogy

Humans Lived Here Once

Whole Life Academy

Comfort in Hydrology

Uncanny Sensing, Remote Valleys

Water Castle

Radio Aporee Sound Map

Midstream at Twilight



Forest Threnody

Big Hill Petro-glyphs

Current State

Points of Presence

Brandenburg Series

Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Sonic Boom Archive

Johnston Island Saturday Night

Suspension of Disbelief

Quantum Danube


Culpeper Media Bunker

A Doubting World

“... the floors of silent seas”

Background Listening Post

Regional Spatialities

Dark Places

Ultimate High Ground

American Oil Vol. I

Kleine Stücke von Berlin


Playas Townsite

Shepard Inversion Ghost


Shock + Awe

Gloom & Doom / Tactile Air

Routes of Least


Weather Radio

Site: Nonsite: Quartzsite

The Mountain Radio Project

Ballarat: Beneath Sentinel

CLUI Projects

Networked Nation


Urban Crude

CLUI Touchscreen

Texas Oil

Wendover, U.S.A.

CLUI Exhibit Posters

Pavement Paradise

Vacation: Dauphin

Dissipation & Disintegration

Terminal Island

Immersed Remains

Diversions & Dislocations

Emergency State

Loop Feedback Loop

A View into the Pipe

Ground Up

Nellis Range - Revisited

West Coast Points

The Best Dead Mall


Antarctic 1

One Wilshire

Alternate Routes

Proximity Issue

Back to the Bay

︎  ︎

© 2024 Steve Rowell


Steve Rowell

Dead Zones


A film, photographic, essay*, and mapping project about the aquatic dead zone of the Gulf of Mexico and the terrestrial dead zones of government subsidized corporate farming across the colonized and transformed prairies of the “American heartland” and the devastating impact on communities of color and fragile ecosystems downstream. Critically threatened and devastated landscapes are revealed from above and below the land of the vast Mississippi River Watershed. In collaboration with Priyanka Basu. 

The Gulf dead zone is an exemplary instance of the normalization of environmental violence and death in the contemporary world. This dead zone, first recorded in 1972, is the massive hypoxic area in the Gulf of Mexico caused primarily by agricultural runoff along the Mississippi River. This overflow of excess nutrients, bacteria, and other waste materials causes the wild overgrowth of sunlight-absorbing algal blooms that blanket the Gulf for miles. The resulting waste and devastation spaces grow to enormous scales, and like other types of slow violence, are difficult to grasp and represent. These directly affect communities whose voices and stories are rarely heard, in this case, from rural communities along and at the end of the polluted waters, small-scale fishermen around the Gulf, to distinctive cultural communities, including communities of color, along the Mississippi River Delta.

* Text from “Dead Zones: Fertile Wastes at the Head and Tail of the Mississippi River” by Priyanka Basu and Steve Rowell in Decapitated Economies (Berlin, K. Verlag, 2023).

Made possible with support from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the MacDowell Foundation, and the Art + Technology department at the University of Florida.

Film details:
DEAD ZONES, 2023, 17 minutes, single channel video, stereo sound
Steve Rowell: director, camera, writer, editor, sound
(text adapted from “Dead Zones: Fertile Wastes at the Head and Tail of the Mississippi River” by Priyanka Basu and Steve Rowell)
World art exhibition premiere, Insurgent Ecologies group show, Antenna, New Orleans, April-May 2023