Artist Cynthia Hooper was raised in Los Angeles, educated in the San Francisco Bay Area, and now works and teaches in northern California. She has long been fascinated by the conceptual complexities and unexpected formal beauty generated by overlooked and environmentally problematic landscapes, and uses painting, video, and interdisciplinary projects to convey these interests. She has collaborated with the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Culver City and the artists' collective SIMPARCH, and has been awarded a Gunk Foundation grant for her interdisciplinary Cummings Road Landfill Project. She was a resident at the University of California Riverside's Sweeny Granite Mountains Desert Research Center and the Djerassi Resident Artist's program. Her work has been included in a number of publications, including Ken Ehrlich and Brandon LaBelle's Surface Tension Supplement No. 1.

Since 1998, Steven Badgett has completed four projects with Matt Lynch under the name SIMPARCH. These works have included Ship from the Desert; The Moorings Project at the Maschinenhalle, Potsdam, Germany; Free Basin at the Hyde Park Arts Center, Chicago; and Spec at the Renaissance Society of the University of Chicago. Previously he created site-specific and environmental installations in New Mexico, Texas, and Cergy, France. Badgett has been a visiting lecturer at Montreal's Concordia University, The University of Utah, and L'Ecole Nationale d'Art in France. He is the recipient of a New Mexico Arts Council grant and has been awarded residencies from the Atelier de Pointoise in France, the Brandenberischer Kunsterein in Germany, and the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Los Angeles. SIMPARCH's work was included in the 2002 Documenta.

Nance Klehm is a radical ecologist, landscape designer, urban forager, teacher, and artist. Her solo and collaborative work focuses on creating participatory social ecologies in response to a direct experience of a place. She has worked, shown and lectured widely in the United States and beyond and taught at UCLA, Northwestern University and Dartington College of Arts. Nance has been featured in Time Magazine, Reuters news service, on the MSN Money website, and many other publications and media outlets. She has been interviewed extensively about her work including spots by American Public Media's Weekend America program, KRCL in Salt Lake City, BBC Radio Canada, Chicago Public Radio, and KBOO in Portland, Oregon. Her regular column ‘Weedeater' appears in Arthur Magazine.

Dividing her time between Los Angeles and Santa Cruz, Nicole Antebi works mostly in video, installation, and animation. She recently developed a series of animated documentaries about historical figures who brought water to the west in grandiose and destructive ways. Water, CA: Creative Visualizations for a New Millennium, co-edited with Enid Baxter Ryce, is an anthology/website which was the focus of a 2011 exhibition and festival at the Crocker Art Museum and will be the basis of an upcoming exhibition at the Armory Center for the Arts, entitled Facing the Sublime in Water, CA, opening October 6, 2012. Other projects include: Pitch Battles, a multimedia performance at Machine Project with Colin Dickey and Chris Kallmyer; Ever Green, an exhibition embedded within Lara Bank’s Portable Forest at Monte Vista Projects; and And the Whale Said…, an impressionistic retelling of Moby Dick as a puppet show on a capsized ship at Machine Project (co-produced with Linda Wei).

Fabulously offbeat and refreshingly upbeat, this lovable film gets friendly with the natives of the Salton Sea, an inland ocean of massive fish kills, rotting resorts, and 120 degree nights located just minutes from urban Southern California. This award-winning film from directors Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer details the rise and fall of the Salton Sea, from its heyday as the "California Riviera" where boaters and Beach Boys mingled in paradise to its present state as a decaying, forgotten ecological disaster. From wonderland to wasteland, Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea captures a place far more interesting than the shopping malls and parking lots of suburban America, a wacky world where a beer-swilling Hungarian Revolutionary, a geriatric nudist, and a religious zealot building a monument to God all find solace and community.

Crisply and hilariously narrated by oddball auteur John Waters, and featuring music by desert lounge rockers Friends of Dean Martinez, Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea melds high camp with stark realism, offering both a sobering message about the consequences of tampering with nature and a heart-warming tale of individualism.

July Oskar Cole has sported a seaweed head-dress, a handle-bar moustache, and a three-foot papier-maché salmon mask, variously, in service of the reconfiguration of U.S. water culture. Cole co-edited Dam Nation: Dispatches From the Water Underground (Soft Skull Press, 2007) and co-authored the article, Rebuilding on Poisoned Ground published in the journal, Colorlines, March, 2006.

Cleo Woelfle-Erskine is a hydrologist, artist, and scholar of water currently pursuing a PhD in the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley. His most recent performance works include the Hydro-Laboratory and the stage play The Gold Fish, Or, Straight Flushes for the Manifestly Destined, which he coproduced, and starred as a water nymph. Woelfle-Erskine's current work spans the borders of science, art, and writing, and includes research into the water savings, ecological implications, and social impact of home greywater and rainwater systems, video surveillance of rivers and waterworks, theoretical writing on water commons, and local collaborations developing mutual aid-based models to disseminate sustainable water systems widely. His books include Dam Nation: Dispatches from the Water Underground, Urban Wilds: Gardeners Stories of the Struggle for Land and Justice, and Creating Rain Gardens: Capturing the Rain for your own Water-Efficient Garden.

Sant Khalsa is an artist, educator, and activist living in the Santa Ana Watershed. Her artworks develop from her inquiry into the nature of place and the complex environmental and societal issues present and visible in the landscape of the American West. Her work has been shown internationally in numerous solo and group exhibitions and is included in museum collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, the Nevada Museum of Art, and UCR/California Museum of Photography.  Khalsa is a recipient of fellowships, awards, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the California Council for the Humanities, and the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel. Her artworks are published books including Art in Action: Nature, Creativity and Our Collective Future (Natural World Museum and Earth Aware Editions, 2007), The Altered Landscape (University of Nevada Press, 1999), and Fotofest H2O 04: Celebrating Water (Fotofest, 2004). She is Chair of the Art Department and a Professor of Art at California State University, San Bernardino where she is one of the founding faculty of the Water Resources Institute (WRI). For more information visit her web site at

In November of 2003, soon after escrow closed on property purchased exclusively for Moisture (Phase 2), we initiated a multi-pronged water-retention & garden project. The group, headed by Claude Willey, Bernard Perroud, and Deena Capparelli, with additional support from Mark Tsang and Adam Belt, rapidly developed plans to work on the 15-acre portion of uninhabited land, just Northwest of Hinkley, CA. After a series of meetings, the group drafted designs for the positioning of a funnel, in the site's main wash, to be used in the collection and diversion of water to a series of circular gardens. Our main goal: to create a subtle micro-climatic shift on the property along with a dedicated multi-year plan for the site's maintenance. Simply put, we wished to physically change a small portion of the desert environment, but with a very light hand.

Claude Willey is an artist and educator, lecturing in the Urban Studies and Planning Department at California State University, Northridge, at Sci-Arc and at Otis College of Art, both in Los Angeles, and in the Humanities and Design-Science Research Department at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Willey is co-coordinator of MOISTURE, a multi-year water research project in the Mojave Desert and was partners, with Deena Capparelli, in the creation of Invisible Trajectories, a story-based undertaking focused on the problem of mobility within California's Inland Empire. Willey's activities have merged ecology, environmental history, renewable-energy technologies, and urban transportation/landscape history. His recent project is an online exhibition, Conducting Mobility, that he organized with Ryan Griffis for the Australian magazine Artlink and for, on the issues of transportation, migration, and energy. Willey also organizes actions for the Rainforest Action Network in the Pasadena area and is a member of Los Angeles Post Carbon. He proudly defines himself as a professional bicycle commuter, clocking 200 miles per week on the roads of Los Angeles County.

Since 2004 Jane Tsong has been creating blessings to be offered for the water, air, and biosolids that are to be treated by the Brightwater Wastewater Treatment Plant in Seattle (opening 2011). Her proposals for radical gardens based on local cultural history have been finalists for public art commissions in Astoria, Oregon and the cities of Ventura and Los Angeles. Currently, she works at the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, which she believes should be renamed "The Huntington Bird, Bug, and Butterfly Gardens."

Bradley John Monsma is the author of The Sespe Wild: Southern California's Last Free River (U of Nevada P, 2004, paperback 2007). His essays on literature and natural history have appeared in periodicals including ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment and Surfer's Journal as well as numerous anthologies. He is Professor of English at California State University, Channel Islands where he teaches environmental literature and field studies courses. He also serves as President of the board of Los Padres ForestWatch (

May Jong is a Los Angeles based artist and educator. Jong Co-Founded and Co-Directed an artist-run space from 2006-2008. Her recent work explores humankind's relationship to the natural environment.  Recent projects include the exhibition "® registered" about trade marking nature at Happy Gallery, the exhibition "Through the Looking Glass: The Los Angeles Aqueduct" with Nicole Antebi at Sea and Space Explorations, paintings about the St. Francis Dam disaster at the Los Angeles International Airport and the video "Reimagining Niagara" at Projections on Lake in Pasadena, CA. She received her M.F.A. from Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA.

Joel Tauber received his M.F.A. from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and now teaches video art at University of Southern California/Los Angeles.  His work has been shown in solo exhibitions at  Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects and Galerie Adamski in Berlin and Aachen, Germany, and in numerous group exhibitions including the 2004 and 2008 California Biennial exhibitions at the Orange County Museum of Art, The Gravity in Art at the De Appel Centre For Contemporary Art in Amsterdam, and Still Things Fall From the Sky at the California Museum of Photography in Riverside, CA. Tauber won the 2007 Contemporary Collectors of Orange County Fellowship and the 2007-2008 CalArts / Alpert Ucross Residency Prize for Visual Arts.

For more information and

Echo Park Film Center is a non-profit media arts organization located in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. EPFC provides equal and affordable access to film/video resources via a community microcinema, free and nominal cost education programs, a comprehensive small format retail department, an eco-friendly mobile cinema and film school, and an international touring film festival showcasing local emerging and established filmmakers. For more information on EPFC programs and services, please go to and

Isabelle Duvivier has fifteen years experience in the fields of urban design, environmental planning, ecology, architecture, and environmental education. This includes urban design work for municipalities, community groups, and developers; GIS mapping for cities and environmental organizations; and architectural work on childcare facilities, commercial retail centers, private office buildings, and residential dwellings. Prior to starting her own firm, Duvivier Architects, in 1993, she worked for Calthorpe Associates in San Francisco and Barton Myers Associates and Eric Owen Moss, both in Los Angeles. Duvivier received her M.Arch. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1992.

Enid Baxter Ryce's artworks have exhibited internationally and have been written about in the New York Times, Artforum, ArtReview and in the J. Paul Getty Museum's survey, California Video. Her films were recently complied on the dvd, A Film is a Burning Place, (Aurora Video, 2009.) She has won several grants, including from the California Council of the Humanities, the Durfee Foundation, and Kodak Film, for projects that address landscape, environment, history and community. Her recent projects are and Professor and Department Chair of Teledramatic Arts at California State University, Monterey Bay, she teaches classes on film and community – based media arts.

Christina McPhee lives and works in central coast California. Her multimedia practice is involved with site as landscape and language. She works in drawing, photography and video. Recent exhibitions and screenings have occurred with Cinephemere, FIAC Paris:, Cara and Cabezas, Kansas CIty; Acadiana Center for the Arts, Lafayette; Thresholds New Media Space, Perth, Scotland; Los Angeles Film Forum; Pacific Film Archive; Documenta 12, Kassel; Bucharest Biennial 3; Solo museum exhibitions include American University Museum, Washington, DC and Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden; and solo video screening at Freies Museum Berlin. Her new media work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of Art (Artport) and Rhizome at the New Museum, New York. Other public collections include Experimental Television Center, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Rose Goldsen Archive at Cornell University, and Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Taylor Museum. Her work is represented by Silverman Gallery, San Francisco.

For more information

Douglas McCulloh is an artist based in Southern California. He is an honors graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara and holds an M.F.A in photography and digital media from Claremont Graduate University. McCulloh's work has been shown in museums, academic institutions, and galleries in the United States, Europe, China, and Mexico, including more than two dozen large-scale solo exhibitions. Mc Culloh has a growing reputation as a creator of conceptually-based work and rising prominence as a chronicler of California. He is a three-time recipient of funding from the California Council for the Humanities and has curated thirteen exhibitions of photography. Including three for the California Museum of Photography. Books include: Dream Street (Heyday Books, Berkeley, California, 2009); On the Beach (Southwest Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, Florida, 2007); The Edge of Air (Laguna Wilderness Press, California, 2005); and Chance Encounters (University of California/California Museum of Photography, 1999).

Katie Vann has conducted ethnographic research on powerful enterprises since 1995.  She holds a PhD in Communications from the University of California at San Diego, she studied water management practices as a Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science, and is the Managing Editor of the international journal of Science, Technology, and Human Values.  She has published in various academic journals such as Critical Discourse Studies; Ephemera: theory and politics in organization; Social Epistemology; Psychologie & Gesellschaftskritik; Mind, Culture, and Activity; and The Journal of the American Society of Information Science and Technology. Some of her work also appears in anthology, including: Deleuzian Intersections in Science, Technology and Anthropology; New Infrastructures for Knowledge Production; and The Blackwell Cultural Economy Reader.  Currently she lives in the Bay Area and works as a freelance writer, researcher, and editor.

Poet and photographer Charles Hood is the author of Red Sky, Red Water, (Sun/Gemini Press, 1991) which follows John Wesley Powell down the Colorado, and co-author of Río de Dios: 13 Histories of the Los Angeles River (Red Hen Press, 2008). Current interests include aviation in Antarctica, a core sample of a medieval French village, and Confederate exiles in Brazil after the Civil War. Hood teaches writing at Antelope Valley College .

Jessica Hall is an advocate for ecologically resilient urban waterways and for the integration of functional ecosystems within cities; through her work as a designer, watershed coordinator, and educator, she has become a leading voice in Los Angeles.  Hall's efforts have resulted in maps of historical streams, increased interest in historical ecology in local restoration, and stream daylighting and stream channel naturalization projects. She is a Senior Design Associate with Restoration Design Group, Santa Monica, CA, and a consultant with the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission.  Hall was a Switzer Environmental Fellow in 2000-2001.  She sits on the boards of Cultivating Sustainable Communities and the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters; and she has an A.B. from Princeton University and a M.L.A. from Cal Poly Pomona, where: she co-authored Seeking Streams, a landscape framework for the upper Ballona Creek Watershed.

Jane Wolff is an associate professor at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto. She received an M.L.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and an A.B. in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges. She began her career as a landscape and urban designer in the San Francisco Bay Area, where her project experience ranged from private gardens to urban design guidelines for the Main Post of the Presidio of San Francisco.Wolff's current research deals with the hybrid landscapes produced by natural process and cultural intervention. Her study topics have included the architecture of the Finnish railway system, the history of land reclamation in the Netherlands, and the reconstructed landscapes of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Her work has been supported by two Fulbright Scholarships, a Charles Eliot Traveling Fellowship, and grants from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, the LEF Foundation, and the Great Valley Center, Modesto, CA. Before her appointment at the University of Toronto, she taught at the California College of Arts and Crafts in San Francisco, Ohio State University's Knowlton School of Architecture, Colombus, and Washington University's Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design in St. Louis. She is the author of Delta Primer, (William Stout, 2003), a book designed to educate diverse audiences about the contested landscape of the California Delta.

With a six foot pinhole camera lined with photographic paper, Shafer traveled to landscapes in four California locations where boundaries were made in the mid 1800's by American pioneers mining for gold, silver and other minerals. The photographic apparatus and process she used mirrors the process used by historical photographic figures such as Carlton Watkins. However, Watkins framed an Utopist version of the landscape, and Shafer, the converse; her images imply devastation to the land and native inhabitants caused by the mining. The images were shot and developed on-location in a U-Haul that Shafer converted into a darkroom. These 6’ x 40” negatives, produced at sites with a haunting and tragic history, have a portrait orientation, alluding to individual(s) rendered invisible through dislocation. This selection of work consists of images produced at Malakoff Diggins, CA, where hydraulic excavation was used to mine gold and minerals from the land. In this most destructive and lucrative form of mining, high-power hoses were used to wash away hillsides. Often times mercury was used to help locate the gold and silver. Interestingly, the surplus of silver resulting from mining made the metal more affordable and accessible, enabling more experimentation and advances in photography.

Jenny Stark was born in Bellaire, Texas.  She received her BFA in Photography from the University of Houston and went on to receive an MFA in Film/Video from the California Institute of the Arts. She is Professor of Communications and Film at California State University, Sacramento. Her films and videos have shown at South by Southwest, Austin; The New York Underground Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, The Viennale, Vienna; LA Film Forum, The Aurora Picture Show, Houston; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The British Film Institute and Image Music Text, London and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Mexico City.

Her most recent exhibition: In-Between Place reflects instability in the Central California region.  Place plays an important role in her research and in her art practice. In her films the locations play a significant role in the story and landscapes/interiors are the primary focus of the photographs.

The photos in this series were shot with a Pentax 67, a medium format film camera and the negatives were scanned at high resolution and printed on archival paper.  For some of the exposures the shutter was open for as long as 15 minutes, capturing the time between day and night. 

background image