Deep Waters, Thin Places

Installation at the Sanitary Tortilla Factory, March 2017

“In deep water” is an idiom that means “to be in trouble.”
“Thin places” comes from a Celtic Proverb that states that the space between
Heaven and Earth is only three feet high, a thin place where one gets a glimpse of both worlds and a new perspective.

Embudo Dam sits in the foothills of the Sandia’s, east of Albuquerque. The dam is in a public park where people hike around on the trails, yet the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA) shaped the whole canyon. It’s hybrid space: not exactly urban, not exactly natural. The flood control surrounding Albuquerque is part of our cultural landscape, so regular that we cease to see it and live here comfortably in a desert flood zone.

Sooner or later, we will have to reconfigure our entire infrastructure system for sustainability in the age of climate change and I imagine Embudo Dam as an urban monument or contemporary ruin. With that idea in mind, I explore the site as a creative space taking cues from its current alternative uses and possibilities as:
• a space to think or explore
• a stage
• an echo sound chamber
• a place to come of age, where teenagers break bottles and have their first kiss
• a metaphor for an internal state of being
Hovering in the tension between deep water and a thin place is everyday living. As the architect of your own inner landscape, when do you exercise control and when do you let go?

Visual Scores, Lithographs, Suite of five, edition of 4, 15 x 22 unframed
Inspired by Embudo Dam engineering plans for performers to interpret. Each print includes a location and a movement with a wash. Printer: Ash Armenta

Scores Performance, HD Video, 09:01, loop
Skye Gullatt, Lauren V. Coons, Deja Mendez, Kelly Davis interpret visual scores, projection

Flood (let it go), HD Video, 00:30, loop
projection in a corner, low to the ground onto sculptures for light and shadow

Jars Sound Composition, HD Video and Audio, 08:31, loop
Performed with jars and water on concrete dam, shown on a wall-mounted monitor

Wood, large 28” x 28” x 4’, small 16” x 16” x 2’, in line of projections’ light from flood video
Glass, broken bottles, clear, 15” diameter, near jars video on monitor


Deep Waters, Thin Places

By Erin Fussell

34 pages, published 3/22/2017

Deep Waters, Thin Places is a catalog for Erin Fussell’s art show at the Sanitary Tortilla Factory, March 2017, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.