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 says 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 the cultural landscape, so regular that it becomes invisible and people 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?

I created five lithographic drawings, or “visual scores”, that act like diagrams or maps that performers interpreted for the video. Video performances of these visual scores is a heavily edited version of the interpretations that gives a sense of choreography through the edit.

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

Visual Scores Performances, 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

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