Remnants centers on the Salton Sea, California and is a response to historical and environmental precedents specific to the area. The work focuses on the spatial and temporal dimensions of human interference. Remnants investigates the relationship between the natural world and the impact of human activity on its condition, most significantly the current issue of environmental degradation.
A number of the images are presented in diptych format. The juxtaposed images offer a visual parallel between sublime and remnant, this representation is intended to be undermined, as the Salton Sea functions also as remnant, formed accidentally between 1905-07. These images in the traditional sense are landscapes, but personally they function as portraits; they are anthropomorphic.
The left images in the diptychs reference photographic artists from the mid to late 1800s, such as Timothy O’Sullivan and Carleton Watkins. Interested in the way these photographers surveyed and measured large expanses of land, thus allowing the land to be visually controlled in a way that helped to exercise political and cultural control. My interest was to detach the survey photograph from its original function of documentation and as a tool for the dissemination of information relating to expansion and development. My images aim to re-survey the space, re-telling the spatial narrative, and places history in the continuous present, in what I hope will create a necessary dialogue about the representation of land through the photograph and of the current environmental dilemma that faces the Salton Sea and surrounding communities.
These images register an exchange between people and land, a collection of human traces, where we bear witness to the way that people have altered space to conform to their dreams.