Conquest of the Vertical
Conquest of the Vertical (2012-2014)
A series of 6’ pinhole negative images of remote Native American lands in California where mining occurred in the 1800’s. Using a similar photographic apparatus and process to that of Carlton Watkins, these photographs, in contrast to Watkin’s Utopian vision, imply devastation to the land and its original inhabitants and serve as evidence of an unknown history. Sand, dust, and snowstorms all affected the chemistry and the surface of the paper, causing scratches, inexplicable blotches on the surface, and photochemistry stains, leaving a mark on the photo, just as mining scarred the land. Interestingly, the mining caused a surplus in silver, making it more affordable and accessible, enabling more experimentation and advances in photography.