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Jean-Michel Reed b. 1971, Tourist, 2013; 3 channel video; Courtesy of the Artist

Jean-Michel Reed b. 1971, Tourist, 2013; 3 channel video; Courtesy of the Artist

The video is comprised of Youtube videos of fires in Buffalo.  Visually it has been constructed as a kind of fireworks display, as a convoluted celebration of sorts, much like the Star Spangled Banner is (from which the title of the video was taken).  Fires have been a part of the visual landscape of Buffalo and other "Rust Belt" since the 1950s when the populations began to shift to suburban communities.  These fires have been primarily in the historically depressed neighborhoods of the city and often in vacant buildings.  The root causes of fires are political and economic in both cause and management, but the results are these spectacular events in the urban landscape.  The video is a glorification of this spectacle, but through that, asks the viewer to think about the ramifications of decades of fires in the urban environment.