RECENT WORKS FORM AND CONTROL: THE SALTON RIVIERA

Video, 19:04 min, HD Video, Stereo, 2019

"The Salton Riviera" is the fourth video in the series "Form and Control" which focuses on late-capitalistic culture and it's space dominating architectural structures: the selected places are oscillating between societal progress and economic profit. The video was filmed on March 27th, 2017 in the resort towns Desert Shores, Salton Sea Beach, Salton City, Red Hill Marina, Bombay Beach, North Shore & Mortmar at the Salton Sea, California.

The Salton Sea is an ecological disaster in the making: it was created by accident in 1905 when the Colorado River breached its dikes due to a human engineering error, flooding the Salton Sink desert valley for two years. As a result, birds flocked to the area, and fish that had been introduced to the lake were flourishing. Developers seized upon the rare setting and branded it the "Salton Riviera," a "miracle in the desert." Hotels, yacht clubs, homes, and schools sprang up along the shores as the Salton Sea became a resort destination for the rich and famous. At it's peak, the Salton Riviera was pulling in 1.5 million visitors annually, making it California's most popular tourist attraction.

227 feet below sea level, the Salton Sea is a terminal lake with no outlets and very little inflow of water, and it depends of agricultural runoff from the Imperial and Coachella valleys. As a result, the Salton Sea is ridden with pesticides, fertilizers, and salinity levels fifty percent greater than that of the Pacific Ocean. "By the late 1970s, the ecosystem was deteriorating rapidly. With no drainage outlet, almost zero yearly rainfall, and runoff flowing in from nearby farms, the sea was polluted with pesticides and saltier than the Pacific Ocean. Periodic flooding brought the poisoned water further ashore. Depleted oxygen in the sea killed scores of fish and dragged their rotting bodies onto the beach, where they shriveled in the sun. As they decomposed, the sand became coated in a layer of fragmented fish skeletons." (Ella Morton, slate.com)

Today, California’s largest internal body of water is steadily drying up, exposing a lake bed that threatens to trigger toxic dust storms and exacerbate already high levels of asthma and other respiratory diseases in Southern California. Officials are even concerned about the presence of potentially toxic heavy metals like arsenic. The lakes odor can be smelled 150 miles away in Los Angeles.

Music:
"Relativity Check" by Locust Fudge
Published by Edition MirrorWorldMusic
© 2018 play loud!

"The Miracle in the Desert"
Holly Corporation,1968

 

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