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Dropped Ceiling

  • Author(s): Tabet, Rayyane
  • Advisor(s): Cruz, Teddy
  • et al.

On December 2nd 1950 the first drop of Saudi oil arrived to Lebanon via the newly constructed Trans-Arabian Pipeline, the world's longest pipeline and the largest American private investment in a foreign land. The 30inch wide structure which spanned 1213 kilometers passing through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria to end in Lebanon had required 3 years of planning and surveying, 2 years of installation, the fabrication of 256,000 tons of steel tubes, the employment of 30,000 workers, the ratification of a few national and international laws, the invention of new transportation and communication devices, and a CIA backed political coup. 33 years later, on December 28th 1983, the Trans-Arabian Pipeline Oil Company announced that it was terminating its operations and, by January 1984, the pipeline was abandoned. Today it sits hidden six feet underground; the only physical object that crosses the border of five political entities in a region that is very conscious of its demarcated lines. Over the past five years I have undergone an in depth research of the pipeline and the company that ran it. This project proposes to take the material gathered over these years and develop a series of objects, installation, performances and books that uses the Trans-Arabian Pipeline Company as both their conceptual and physical framework, a specter through which to address the economic, political, geographic and social transformations of the region from the end of World War II onwards.

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