This series was made along the Cuyahoga River in northern Ohio, known for the legacy of pollution by heavy industry that led the river to catch fire in 1969, galvanizing the modern environmental movement.
These images were made in cities and towns directly adjacent to the river’s crooked path, from its headwaters in rural Geauga County to its terminus in Lake Erie. The prints were subsequently buried along the riverbank for varying lengths of time, in closest reasonable proximity to where the image was first created. Each burial spot was marked by the construction of a stone cairn, as a temporary sculptural intervention and catalogue of the work's site-specificity (*see cairn documentation samples below; click on thumbnails for larger view*).
The burials transfer the photographic object to a form of votive offering: the ritual process originating in ancient Neolithic societies where items are buried near or cast into a body of water to gain favor with supernatural forces. The work references process art by introducing natural entropy as an unpredictable collaborator. In opposition to humankind's environmental exploitation, here nature is spurred to intervene in the mechanics of image creation, complicating the photograph's role as document or artifact.