You just can't carry enough water for a Summer crossing of Arizona's Sonoran Desert. Based on his first-hand experience, journalist John Annerino estimated that a person needs anywhere from 2-5 gallons of water per day to replenish that lost to the relentless sun. For thousands of undocumented migrants the journey across the U.S.-Mexico border happens here, during the punishing Summer months. Tw ... [more]
The landscape in and around Ajo, Arizona provides a valuable lens with which to examine the way people and place interact. Ajo's geography dictates its industries. With the closure of the mine, Ajo's main sources of income have become border patrol and retirees. Ubiquitous green and white SUVs patrol for desperate migrants in the same desert which provide winter homes to the RVs of those who migra ... [more]
These artifacts were found in the Coronado Historic Neighborhood, a central Phoenix community located between 7th Street, Thomas Road, and both the State Route-51 and Interstate-10 freeways. Although considered a relatively young city, Phoenix has a legendary pre-historic legacy. Believed to have originated around the beginning of the Common Era and lasted into the 15th century, the Hohokam were a ... [more]
These various objects were found in the bed of the Salt River located in Mesa, AZ just east of interstate 101 and north of interstate 202. Mainly populated by wildlife and transients, this area has become both a refuge and a dumping ground. Abandoned tents, homemade fire pits, and piles of debris are found amongst Cottonwood trees and wetland grasses. While photographing around the Salt River w ... [more]
Many of us have a particular space in which we touch nature. We are not always conscious of how to use the space in any other way than how it was appropriated when we began using the space. Often times the backyard, which is commonly this space for most, gets nothing more than a grass cutting and possibly some weeding but most often it’s the only consideration we give it. How to use this space ... [more]
An in-depth document of a small, rural town 30 miles west of Phoenix as it undergoes the change from a small farming town to a Phoenix suburb.
Field Guide to the Valley explores the contradictions that come with living in a large modern metropolitan area by documenting the species of plant life that are found in particular locales around the Valley. We are in the west, in the middle of Arizona and in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, yet so much of the evidence around the place I live and work runs counter to what I have come to expect fr ... [more]
Centrally located in the heart of the city, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is the ninth busiest airport in the United States. With a $90 million dollar daily economic impact, some 1,200 aircraft fly through the airspace above the Phoenix suburbs on any given day.
The Heat(e)scape project emerged when Sean Deckert, an artist interested in the urban heat island effect, met with Karina Benessaiah, a geographer interested in how people perceive and adapt to changing social and ecological systems. Through the combination of infrared & normal video camera systems with interviews and music, this project seeks to articulate a more nuanced understanding of heat in ... [more]
I grew up on the U.S. Mexico border, and my family and I have used a shuttle service since I was as child to migrate through the landscape to and from larger metropolitan cities such as Los Angeles and Phoenix. When I think about my earliest memories on the shuttle bus, I see my mother immersed in conversations with passengers for hours at a time. As an adult, I find myself in her seat, conversin ... [more]
Home, it would seem, should increasingly embody the sociality, multiplicity, and fluidity of the contemporary moment. Mobility reigns. Personal information is shared at an excessive, if not alarming rate. We turn to the Real Housewives of somewhere to see how other people live. The classic divide, homemaking and paid work, has dissolved into the rhythmic continuum of multi-tasking. Yet, when it co ... [more]
“When we talk about an object of desire, we are really talking about a cluster of promises we want someone or something to make to us and make possible for us. …the surrender to the return to the scene where the object hovers in its potentialities is the operation of optimism as an affective form.” –Lauren Berlant, Cruel Optimism.
One day a year ... [more]
Immigration has been a highly contested topic throughout U.S. history. While the U.S. has been framed as a country of immigrants, the experiences of different groups and individuals is often not accounted for in the dominant public discourse surrounding immigration. This project focuses on different (im)migrant groups and individuals in the Phoenix metropolitan area to get their (im)migrant story ... [more]
Ajo was synonymous with copper mining until the Phelps Dodge Company pulled out in the 1980s. Reeling after the shutdown of the mine, Ajo recast its identity as a destination for part-time winter residents and tourists. The hardening of the U.S.-Mexico border during the 1990s, however, funneled undocumented border crossers from Mexico into the desert surrounding Ajo. The town found itself in the ... [more]
Acclaimed as Arizona’s largest homebuilder, John F. Long is best known for bringing modern, affordable single-family suburban homes to valley residents. Maryvale, his iconic post World War II development was the first—and not the last—completely master-planned community in Arizona. Virtually built by hyperbole, Maryvale offered the best, largest, and most modern amenities for the suburban family. ... [more]
The Salt River Project follows the Salt River from the recreation areas East of Phoenix out to the Gillespie Dam West of Phoenix. It is the story of an urban desert river.
The project begins with the conceptual framework provided by high water marks. Clumps of dirt, plastic bags and plant growth five feet up in trees serve as a reminder that the dry riverbed is not dead, but only do ... [more]
The thing in-itself is transcended by perception whether the "thing" is photography, space, or realties. I am interested in photographing spaces into becoming something more than description. I use the Phoenix area as a place to explore the ideas of transcendence in order to create an environment outside of literal space.
Aerial Photography of the greater Phoenix valley. Support for this project was provided by the Metro Light Rail Project and published in, City By Design: Phoenix: An Architectural Perspective of the Greater Phoenix Valley, 2009.
Phoenix covers more than 517 square miles and ranks as the fifth largest city in the country with a population of over 1.5 million people. It has continued ... [more]
On February 28th 2010 in central Phoenix, twelve Brentwood historic district households graciously opened their homes to the public for the annual Coronado historic district home tour. Designated in 2005, Brentwood is a small historic district located within the greater Coronado neighborhood, a broad swath of the central-eastern corridor housing three residential historic districts: Coronado, Coun ... [more]
I first began making these photographs in response to what I saw each morning out the windows of a moving light-rail train. Between Mesa and Tempe the track runs along a dilapidated Apache Boulevard. Vacant lots and abandoned motels clutter the street, but ultimately it was the palms that caught my eye.
There is no shortage of palm trees in Phoenix. Here, palms are more prolifi ... [more]
Utilizing a multitude of camera systems including a FLIR infrared, 3D video , DSLR, and lenticular images I have attempted an address of this paradox of Urban Heat Island. Creating shifting, user-activated photographs, infrared video tours of the city, and stop motion light studies, this work redefines the spaces of the downtown Phoenix Metro area through scientific tools ... [more]
Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends. This is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it.
(Bill W. 1939)
We are average Americans. All sections of this country and many of its occupations are represented, as well as many political, economic, social, and religious backgrounds. We are people who normally would not mix. But there exists among us a fellowship, a friendliness, and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful. We are like the passengers of a great liner the moment after rescue from sh ... [more]
The sites of historic photographs of the Phoenix Metropolitan area have been relocated and the views repeated (rephotographed), sometimes on several occasions. New sites have also been created for the purpose of rephotography at a later date.
Months before the Valley Metro Light Rail opened for travel in December 2008, Ryan Heckel methodically photographed every undeveloped lot along its path with an interest in understanding the change and impact of its construction. Now, with over a million passengers per month in 2010, and planned expansion over the next two decades, we can expect to watch a continuously changing face of the Valley. ... [more]
In tracing a visual urban history of dynamic central city neighborhoods a common misconception is made: “then and now”, “now and then”. Discontinuity and loss seem the primary effect as space and time are ripped asunder by this binary, linear view.
Upon a second, and maybe third viewing, the tension between “past” and “present” reveal the continuous effects of changing forces in ... [more]
The Last Resort
When I moved to Arizona to attend the MFA program I was aware that I could be considered a “non-traditional “ student or just an old student. Yet I did not feel old, that is until we moved into a retirement trailer park. My husband found our trailer, which appeared to have everything we could want, swimming, golfing and air conditioning. I have come to realize tha ... [more]
If you are looking for it you will have no problem finding it. It’s all around the greater Phoenix Valley, as odd as it may seem. Homeowners use it to seek out beautification or perhaps attention, business owners looking for a way to deter from the straight and boring lines of their establishment. Vegetation is more abundant than you would consider in Metropolitan Phoenix.
However, ... [more]
Tuesday night, and every motel in this isolated desert place was fully booked. I drove down the strip, to La Siesta, the Copper Sands, and the ambitiously named Marine, 200 miles from the nearest sight of water, in Rocky Point, Mexico. All were flashing No Vacancy. At the Copper Sands, Ken felt sorry for me. He asked his wife Angie to find the nearest opening. She was less interested and turned th ... [more]