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

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© 2024 Steve Rowell


Steve Rowell

Lost Prairie Valley


“Every day the urge grows stronger to get hold of an object at very close range by way of its likeness, its reproduction.”- Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," (1935) in Illuminations, ed. Hannah Arendt, trans. Harry Zohn, (New York: Shocken, 1969)

Prior to the nineteenth century, western philosophers thought of eyes as broadcast centers, producing images of the world. As this perceived center of the universe shifted away from humans, and the Earth, it became more difficult to see the natural world exactly at the moment that industrial society’s exploitation began driving entire species towards extinction. Since that time, increasingly complex machines and algorithms do the work of seeing and recording the effects of the global climate emergency. Lost Prairie Valley investigates this moment at ecological research stations in the American state of Minnesota, with a little object recognition help from artificial intelligence.

Lost Prairie Valley, Steve Rowell, 2023, 24 minutes, color, stereo sound, 4K digital video and 16mm Kodak Vision 3 color film 4K overscan

Shot in 2020-23 in Minnesota, USA which is located on Mnisóta Makhóčhe, the contemporary, traditional, and ancestral homelands of the Dakota people at these locations:
  • Voyageur Park, Dunlap Island
  • Duluth Seaway Port, Lake Superior
  • Bdote Confluence, Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers
  • Cedar Creek Long Term Ecological Research Site
  • Cloquet Forestry Center
  • Regis West Art Building Darkroom, University of Minnesota (UMN)
  • Advanced Imaging Service for Objects and Spaces (AISOS), UMN
  • Lost Valley Prairie Scientific and Natural Area
  • University of Minnesota Herbarium

Image recognition:
Be My Eyes / OpenAI GPT-4 image-to-text model

Audio narration:
Heidi, Murf AI

Marshall McLuhan With Harley Parker and Tony Schwartz, 17 June 1968
Tony Schwartz Collection, US Library of Congress, National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, Culpeper, VA

“Your Chance to Live: Earthwatch” 1972, Screenscope, Inc., U.S. Defense Civil Preparedness Agency
“Rediscovery: Earthquake Below” 1975, Screenscope, Inc., NASA, U.S. Defense Civil Preparedness Agency
“Rediscovery: Flood Below” 1975, Screenscope, Inc., NASA, U.S. Defense Civil Preparedness Agency

Thank you:
Samantha Thi Porter, Research Associate, UMN AISOS
Tim Whitfeld, Collections Manager, UMN Herbarium
Caitlin Barale Potter, Associate Director, Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
Anita Porath-Krause, Researcher, Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
Kyle G Gill, Research Project Specialist, Cloquet Forestry Center
Andy Graydon
Priyanka Basu

Made possible with support from:

The University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment,
The MacDowell Foundation,
and The Minnesota State Arts Board.

Steve Rowell is a fiscal year 2022 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.