Amazon River Transplant
Growing out of the desert with reckless momentum, Las Vegas has been called a city of the future. But Vegas, like many American cities, is in desperate need of water. In contrast, the Amazon River basin has been compared to a time machine, a place lingering in an era before civilization. And no landscape on Earth is more permeated by water.
This body of work is based around a "modest proposal" to supply Las Vegas with water from the Amazon River. Part of this central conceit imagines natural resources not as commodities for human exploitation, but as being inextricably bound to both their land and their history. Thus, an unexpected, hybrid reality is created when water and local history from the Amazon is blended with the landscape and history of Las Vegas and the American Southwest. The works comprising Amazon River Transplant explore humankind's dipole fantasies of mastery over the land and reverence for an unspoiled paradise.
installation after 3 weeks
These anomalies record hybridized and overlapping realities resulting from the Amazon River Transplant. The book photocopies reveal historical narratives that have mixed and peeled away like wet ink on paper, recording an alternate (prime) history in which the Mint Hotel overlooks the village of São Gabriel, and the Desert Inn is located on the banks of the Amazon.
Drawings depict other events rewritten by the movement of natural resources. A meeting between Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt and the discovery of the Vegas Strip by Amerigo Vespucci represent other unlikely and unexpected convergences.