Silicon Landscapes

"Silicon Landscapes" is a kind of walking tour or drone flyover of technology industry campuses in Silicon Valley, California. It compares the experience of being in and moving through a place with technologies of seeing and knowing. It incorporates found footage, text and images relating to the history, economics and politics of these tech landscapes, and concerns the way that these shape the landscaping and built environment, which then in turn reflect and shape the work taking place there. I am interested in the physical conditions of these tech-based workplaces since these companies have such an impact globally, but also because they are more often experienced only virtually, cleanly and remotely through their online products.
This artist-made video looks at the past, present and future of Silicon Valley and is informed by science fiction – in much the same way as many of these companies are - as well as the Valley’s historical context. The existence of these companies within the landscape of the Santa Clara Valley has a complex history that owes much to military, government and suburban planning. The ideologies that were built up along with Silicon Valley borrow from modernist ideals, 1960s counterculture and techno-utopias, all of which are visible in its architecture and landscaping.

  • Erica Molesworth
  • Erica Molesworth
  • Erica Molesworth
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Web / New Media, Other
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 46 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 23, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Channels Video Festival
  • Contemporary Jewish Museum
    San Francisco
    United States
Director Biography - Erica Molesworth

Erica Molesworth is an artist working across video, installation and other forms. She is interested in landscapes that integrate the natural and artificial, and their symbiotic relationship with human economies. She was born in Sydney, Australia, completed undergraduate studies in Media Arts at the University of Sydney, and an MFA in 2015 at the California College of the Arts (CCA). Erica has exhibited widely in Australia and in the United States, including at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, in the John Fries Memorial Prize and Firstdraft in Sydney, Channels Video Festival in Melbourne, Southern Exposure, SOMArts, Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography and the University of Nevada. She is a resident at Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) and a YBCA fellow in 2017-18, and has received an Australian Postgraduate Award, a CCA graduate merit scholarship and teaching fellowship, and the Australia Council's ArtStart grant. She is visiting faculty at CCA and SFAI, has given visiting artist lectures at Stanford, BAVC and the Living Room Light Exchange, and been an artist-in-residence at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, CA and at Hill End, Australia. She is also a founding member of Oakland's all women/nonbinary art space CTRL+SHFT Collective (

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Director Statement

My work explores landscapes that integrate the natural and artificial, and their symbiotic relationship with human economies. My two most recent projects are video works that employ multiple camera types, drones, and stabilizers, as well as digital manipulation and found internet footage. Their structure is based on internet ‘browsing’ as a research practice ideal for following tangents and connotations between multiple locations and concepts. “Silicon Valley” (2017) is a meandering, satirical investigation of the economic and political implications of design aesthetics and business practices in the technology industry. It draws together the Valley's many influences from science fiction and techno-utopia, to cold war militancy and modernist architecture. It employs multiple internet windows as well as stock corporate music to make clear the surprising discoveries, rabbit holes, deep dives, and strange connections that make up the form of the video. It has been shown as both a 3-channel and single channel work.