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Salt Drawings


Because there are no fish, I notice instead the dancing glints on the water,
the red and yellow and golden glints and shimmers that jump and hop their way
towards the shore, fading into the white foam or ebb into the light pink shore of bones.


-- Janice Lee, Entropy Magazine                         

          These Salt Drawings embody the salt-to-water ratios of the Salton Sea (Salt Drawing 1, on the left) and the Pacific Ocean (Salt Drawing 2, on the right). Saline formulae used for their making were based upon recent data for each body of water. The horizontal patterns of salt crystals are the result of the seepage and subsequent evaporation of the salt water on rice paper.

          The Salton Sea, a once-scenic vacation-worthy freshwater lake is located in Southern California. For eons, large bodies of water have formed and evaporated at this site. Its current embodiment occurred in 1905 when the Colorado River breached an irrigation canal and flowed into this lake basin. Since the 1960s its waters have been replenished mainly by industrial and agricultural runoff, inflating its salinity and toxicity. Climate change and ongoing droughts are expediting its evaporation, amplifying its ecological hazards.  

          The Salt Drawings diptych visualizes the relative salinity of the Salton Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Their comparable salt crystal contours and densities, highlight the aberrant salinity of the Salton Sea. Formerly, an oasis of sustenance for countless lifeforms including more than four-hundred species of migratory birds, it is now perilous for all including the surrounding indigenous and farm-worker communities.  

*These drawings and the field and academic research that inspired their creation
were part of the Instinct Extinct project, information for which can be found HERE

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