Exploring the intersection of the built and natural world

Rift: Unearthing the Divide Along the San Andreas Fault (2022 - in process)

Traveling along California's 800-mile-long San Andreas Fault, I use an infrared camera to capture images that symbolize political polarization and social tribalism. I utilize this natural geologic boundary, where tectonic plates move in opposition to each other, to visually represent the ideological rifts in our society.

Photographing directly on the fault line, I explore the diverse landscapes, infrastructure, and environments of the state, revealing them as emblems of potential cultural schisms. Despite not always being visible on the earth’s surface, the fault’s potential for destructive earthquakes looms and mirrors societal fractures that threaten to rupture our communities.

I chose an infrared camera for this project because it reveals perspectives beyond our visible spectrum, challenging viewers to consider alternative viewpoints. The resulting images blend beauty with dystopia and are enhanced by a gold color palette that pays homage to California's paradoxical moniker of “the golden state.”

With a background in geology and a lifetime of living within five miles of the San Andreas Fault, I have developed a deep connection to the mélange of landscapes that make up California. Deciphering clues embedded in the landforms helps me to understand the history and significance of locations I visit, a perspective that now shapes my photographic practice, especially where the natural and built worlds meet.

Throughout my travels for this project, I encountered diverse beauty thriving on a fault that has endured for thirty million years, offering a poignant metaphor for society's potential to reconcile its divisions.