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Going to Water - 2021.
Multi-channel Video and Sound.
Commissioned by Remai Modern Museum,
Installation views: Time Holds All The Answers
Remai Modern Museum, Saskatoon, SK.
Photos by Blaine Campbell, Courtesy Remai Modern Museum.

Going to Water depicts the Owens Valley, located east of the Sierra Mountains in California. Indigenous peoples have long converged in the area to trade and socialize. The nearby Paiute tribes of Bishop and Lone Pine call the valley Payahǖǖnadǖ, or “place of flowing water.” In the early 1900s, the city of Los Angeles constructed an aqueduct to divert water from the valley, carrying it over 300-kilometres south to support the city’s growing population. This caused Owens Lake to go dry by 1926, devastating the valley’s ecosystem. The empty lake bed creates large dust storms that carry toxic cancer-causing particles for miles. Communities in the valley have been heavily impacted by adverse health effects caused by the lakebed dust, the loss of viable farmland and ongoing displacement. As environmental policy-in-action, a government agency currently operates 22 cameras throughout the valley to monitor the environmental conditions. For Going to Water, Postcommodity gathered footage from the online archive of these recordings. Projected onto three large screens, with an expansive and haunting soundtrack, the work creates a tension between the scenic beauty of the valley and the horror of ecological disaster.