High Water Mark
four channel ultra hd video installation
10 minutes, 35 seconds
High Water Mark explores the confluence of demands placed on the water of the Colorado River at Lake Powell and Lake Havasu. These two large reservoirs tame the Colorado River to create a reliable water supply for millions of people throughout the Southwest while simultaneously offering “unparalleled opportunities for water-based recreation,” according to the National Park Service. This four channel, immersive installation depicts remote and desolate canyons of Glen Canyon, now exposed by the declining water levels of Lake Powell, juxtaposed against furious motor boating activity along the Parker Strip at Lake Havasu.
The slow-paced scenes of “High Water Mark” focus on the texture and scenic beauty of cathedral-like corridors and iconic waterways, punctuated by the disruptive sounds of motorized human presence in the otherwise silent desert landscape. The manipulation of these landscapes through the Colorado River Storage Project — a series of mid-century public works projects by the Bureau of Reclamation — secured the future of the American West, yet with declining water levels, and rapidly increasing evaporation rates, the conversation of how to best return these lands back to nature has already begun.