Monday, April 16, 2012

On Saturday, I drove Laird Hunt and a couple friends through the desert and out to Smithson's Spiral Jetty. I made the same trip a year ago today with a different group, but I heard the water level is higher this year, and I wanted to see how the changing landscape affected the installation.




Here is a somewhat elevated view of the Jetty on April 16th, 2011:

And here a more elevated view on April 14th, 2012:

This year the water colored seemed to change depending on my perspective.


The water level did more than affect the Jetty. It hid the number of dead bird skeletons perserved by the salted sand. Instead of witnessing avian ghosts with almost every step, I instead felt their slippery bones bend and flex under the weight of my rubber boots as I trudged my way through the water. Some birds could still be found mingled amidst the various rocks and grasses that litter the coast [if I can call it a coast].


The abandoned pier and oil rig were also transformed by the excess of lake. Here are the wooden ruins from this year's visit:

And here, the same from last year:


Even the alien cannonball wasn't spared [and seemed to somehow become partially covered with the tar that seeps up from the sand]. 2012:




2011:

As much change as the lake undergoes, there are constants. The seeping oil, the skeletal remains, the rusted remnants, the traces of human activity, the flight path of birds, the strange protrusions, the colors, the dead things, the dead things, the dead things, and the endless possibilities for excellent photo shoots.











Also, souvenirs.

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