Silence, Water, Hope: The Colorado Plateau (2023-24)

“Give me silence, water, hope …” — Pablo Neruda

The Colorado Plateau is an immense basin that drains the 1450 mile-long Colorado River, which provides water and energy to 40 million people through seven states and 30 Tribal Nations, including California. Climate change is scorching the earth and dramatically lessening the available water (for drinking, irrigation, and electrical power) for Western states. Powerful, sublime landscape— and a terrifying future.

Embedded in Sir Edmund Burke’s concept of the sublime is that great beauty is inexorably linked with terror. Driving through canyons of the Colorado river near Moab, I witnessed and photographed rocks that were hundreds of million years old and noted how their imminent presence acutely confronts us with our own fragile mortality and emptiness in the face of the grand scale of existence. In light of these echoes of infinity and my fear for the future of the planet, I am reminded of the phrase, “I am a part of it, and it is a part of me.”

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