21 December 2006

Post-Apocalypse Part II

Photography By Stephen Tamiesie

Bored at work the other day reading the Oregonian, I sumbled upon some striking images that immediately caught my attention. Pushdot Studio in Portland is showing a photographic study of California's Salton Sea. Foulweather has always had an unhealthy obsession with decay and seeking out beauty in the filth or prettiness in the shittiness. From Coney Island to Bayocean in Oregon, Paradise turning to shit reminds us who/ what is really in control and to celebrate not mourn, decay and death. In the case of Salton Sea, an artifical lake was created by the damning of the mighty Colorado River to create a fleeting tourist attraction. The salinity levels soon exceeded that of the Pacific and much of the wildlife died off and in consequence and the place became largely abandoned.

While this ecological catastrophe is nothing to celebrate, there is huge symbolism is in the decay of the remenants of hotels, pools, camper vans and marinas. It reminds me of images I've seen of Pripyat in Ukraine twenty years after the Chernobyl meltdown. Only in Pripyat, nature has begun to thrive again, under the still dangeroulsy high radiation levels. Whether nature can thrive again in Salton Sea is doubtful but for now it remains a tremendous symbol of the battle between civilization and nature.

Anyway, this exhibit is on display until the 27th Jan 2007 at 830 NW 14th, Portland OR. I hope to get down there and check it out soon.

On a side note, I first heard about Salton Sea in the Fruit of the Vine documentary about pool skating. Apparently, all the abandoned motels have provided a plethora of pools for skateboarders to shred.

Please let me know, if you have any abandoned ship wrecks, mental hospitals, fairgrounds and of course pools, for me to check out.

Happy Solstice!