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Ten Miles of Track in One Day is a video installation of the American West as seen from a train and a landscape of names of Chinese emigrants who built the transcontinental railroad and whose identities were largely erased from history.
From 1863–1869, Central Pacific Railroad employed thousands of emigrant Chinese as manual laborers to construct the transcontinental railroad. These “railroad Chinese” laid 690 miles of tracks toiling through harsh conditions with low pay. Historical records rarely identified these workers. The video, which spirals around viewers onto 36 pillars, memorializes these silent workers who are the ancestors of many of today’s Chinese Americans. It interlocks two hundred names that scholars have been able to recover with the landscape in Utah where the workers labored. The sculpture consists of small and large gaps between the pillars in a circle connoting a sense of distance and displacement.