Prospective Home Sites
By juxtaposing images representing development and images of pristine landscapes, this series explores issues of water scarcity amidst increasing demand, and the resulting human impact on the Grand Canyon’s Colorado River. Over a period of years and dozens of trips through the Canyon, I placed crude wooden structures in absurd places—beautiful spots along the river, completely inaccessible to such development. Covering 278 miles of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, the series is meant to portray the pervasiveness of human impact by exaggerating the proximity of development. If the Colorado River is to supply water to 40 million people downstream, why not just erect homes right there on its banks? I built the houses from leftover scraps in my woodshop, turning what could be seen as waste into something useful, another way to shed light on human impact—shrinking resources, increasing landfills, the need for repurposing materials. The structures, uniform in rudimentary shape and color, are reminiscent of Monopoly game pieces—houses and hotels—representing human hunger for ownership, an ever-encroaching civilization, and gross imposition on wild places. By using the mile indicators along the river as the title of each piece, I intend to further emphasize this encroachment, asking the viewer to imagine a home site here, and here, and here.