Protect Life

Dates: 08/15/22 - 08/22/22
Show: Willow House Residency
Location: Willow House, Terlingua, TX
Medium: Site-specific installation - Projection mapping
Materials: Video
Dimensions: 25'x30'x15'
Credits: Production Support: Farangiz Yusupova, Ralphie Williams, Video: Aaron Wharton

Project Summary:  'Protect Life' was a site-specific, immersive audio-visual piece released for the @willowhouse_ artist residency in Terlingua, Texas. I captured authentic media from in and around the Rio Grande. Visuals of the beautiful patterns and signs of life that the river brings. What captured and inspired me to pursue this theme was a surreal experience I had in a previous visit to the park; walking on the bone-dry river bed where the Rio usually runs. Without being fed for many months, I felt the soil was gasping for its air - the water from the Rio Grande. The experience was far in contrast to how I and others often enjoy a flowing river, a full clear lake, or even powerful oceans. Those experiences help us stay connected to the earth through the water. My goal was to shed light on a critical ecological crisis facing Big Bend National Park. The 'lifeblood" of the park, The Rio Grande River, is reaching record lows. If the trajectory continues, permanent aridification could take place and millions are at risk including the flora and fauna that depend on the river for life. The perfect storm of drought, climate change, invasive plant species, and human overuse (channelization, dams, and irrigation) are the causes. This issue is just a small glimpse of the greater crisis that many of the rivers and lakes in the U.S Southwest are facing amidst the current 1200-year mega-drought. This project hopes to bring into question our daily unsustainable use of water.