Once a pristine and important ecological environment akin to its brother, Yosemite Valley, the Hetch Hetchy Valley now remains submerged under water. It was sacred land to the natives for hundreds of years, but took less than a century for us to destroy after white settlement. The O’Shaughnessy Dam was erected in the early 20th century to aid water and power needs to the Bay Area after much push back and controversy, which still remains today.
These prints, in chronological order, depict the valley before the damming of the Tuolumne, the blueprints for the aqueduct and its pathway to the San Francisco Peninsula, the dam after erection, and the reservoir in present day. The prints are first coated in cyanotype solution before being contact-exposed with a digital negative, and then receive a bath just west of the dam in the river itself to permanently fix the flow of water on top of the original image, within the photosensitive emulsion. These are experimental double exposures, using one part representational imagery alongside the location itself to make the final piece.