The Salton Sea

Living in a capitalist consumer driven culture that exerts it’s dominance over nature on a regular basis the Salton Sea has often been a personal refuge for me as a place that shirked land development attempts. The sea was formed in 1905 after an attempt to divert the Colorado River failed, causing one of the damns to break transfiguring the Salton Sink into the Salton Sea. Later in the 1920s as capitalism and the desire for recreational vacation spots grew, business opportunists began to develop the area into a tourist attraction marring it's shore with resorts, marinas and other tourist attractions. The area become a profitable development and during the next few years more people visited the Salton Sea than visited Yosemite. In the 1950s and 60s, however, the sea flooded again reclaiming itself by destroying the buildings clustered around it's shore. This coupled with a large outbreak of bird botulism, established the Salton Sea as an undesirable location for a tourist market. Since then the sea has been unsuccessful in attracting any consumer driven tourism and has become a home and sanctuary for a variety of “desert dwellers” that find solace in experiencing what the sea naturally offers.

As a photographer, I have found the imagery of the Salton Sea to be undeniably captivating and awe-inspiring. In this way, it is inspiration to me to view the history of the Sea as nature's ability to cleanse itself of the consumer pollution our society imposes on it's natural resources. With this in mind, each of my photographs become a personal representation of the Sea's triumph over our capitalistic driven culture.