Steel City Rhythms

Michele Dunleavy

August 15 to September 15

The historic Carrie Blast Furnaces produced iron for the Homestead Works from 1907 to 1978 and are the only non-operative blast furnaces in the Pittsburgh District to remain standing.  The furnaces, located on the banks of the Monongahela River just outside Pittsburgh, are a visible reminder of the region’s legacy as the dominant force in the steel industry for over 100 years.  As the Steel City enjoys yet another celebrated renaissance, sites like the Carrie Furnace exist as cultural reservoirs, preserving the past in hot metal, brick, and iron ore.

Created in partnership with Rivers of Steel Arts (RoSA), Steel City Rhythms aims to create a performance that connects the audience to their environment and to the region’s history.  I find myself drawn to the many textures and surfaces located throughout the site, and the potential they hold for creating sounds and rhythms. Though video and live performance, SCR will transform objects from the Carrie site along with archival materials to create a work that is both old and new, and that challenges perceived boundaries between labor and art.