Rio Grande: Burnt Water / Agua Quemada (2002-2008)

The Rio Grande is a key site of the confluence and divergence of cultures of the United States and Mexico. As the river runs its course, it traverses managed recreational forests, agricultural land, Pueblo and Navaho Nations, and densely populated urban areas around the maquiladores of northern Mexico. My project addresses this cultural landscape, which consists of an ever more complex relationship between the natural environment and human agency.

Between 2002 and 2008, I photographed along the Rio Grande River as it flows from Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico. I worked by projecting photographic images of the Rio Grande landscape onto assemblages of natural history specimens and cultural artifacts that I collected.  Prickly pear plants, cornhusks, soil, clothing, vinyl car seats, needles, and other objects were incorporated into still lives that invoke the complexity of human experiences along the river as well as the immediacy of history within this landscape. The still lives, illuminated by the projected imagery, were then rephotographed using a view camera to produce a landscape that, through its artifacts, refers to a water and land environment being reconfigured by a host of critical issues including water politics, immigration, and economic inequities. 


44 x 55 inches

Vinyl Vista

44 x 55 inches

King Plants

44 x 55 inches

Border Corn Field

34 x 50 inches

Commodity Futures

44 x 55 inches

Ground Water

47 x 40 inches


40 x 50 inches


44 x 44 inches


40 x 57  inches

Big Bend

35 x 50  inches

Rope Swing

55 x 44 inches

Wind, New Mexico

40x 50  inches

Sally's Run Off

32 x 50  inches


44 x 55 inches

Santa Ana Notebook

 25 x 50 inches

River Delta

38 x 66 inches

Spring Storm

44 x 55 inches

Torrey Yucca

 43 x 55 inches


55 x 44  inches


40 x 40 inches

Prickly Pear

55 x 44  inches


44 x 55 inches

Coral Vine

47 x 40 inches

Wild Plum

40 x 52 inches

Two Bridges and a cane field

33 x 50  inches