Deep Waters, Thin Places

Installation at the Sanitary Tortilla Factory, March 2017

Review Southwest Contemporary The Magazine, Santa Fe, NM

“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”, inspired by the engineering plans for the dam 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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