Phoenix Transect Project

PROJECT: Memory of Water


The Salt River Project follows the Salt River from the recreation areas East of Phoenix out to the Gillespie Dam West of Phoenix. It is the story of an urban desert river.

The project begins with the conceptual framework provided by high water marks. Clumps of dirt, plastic bags and plant growth five feet up in trees serve as a reminder that the dry riverbed is not dead, but only dormant. Too often in the desert, water concerns orbit around the idea that we're using up all our resources and that the dryness is a sign of the dismal future. Though transient communities have made the river channel home, and others use it as a dumping ground, sooner or later the water will rise again. Everything found in the channel is colored with this knowledge.

In exploring the Salt River bed and banks, the garbage becomes remnants and artifacts. I am an archaeologist attempting to piece together the meaning of each pile of trash dumped and beer can left behind. Who, why, when? People have left marks of recreation, as well. Fire pits, beer cans, and fishing wire. Good times gone, more than just footprints left behind.

I become sensitive to the difference between different kinds of dry. The dry of the surrounding desert contrasted against the dry of the riverbed, which is filled with the memory of water.

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Cattail Soup
Description: The Salt River after a heavy winter storm blew all of the cattails into the water at the Phon D Sutton Recreation Area.
Date: 2/2009
Location: Unincorporated
Keywords: Public Space, Riparian, River, Salt River, Vegetation, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Alex M M M
Description: Graffiti left with charcoal from the remains of a fire along the eroded bank of the Salt River at the Phon D Sutton Recreation Area.
Date: 2/2009
Location: Unincorporated
Keywords: Artifact, Public Space, Riparian, Salt River, Vegetation, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Eroded River Bank 2
Description: The eroded river bank along the Salt River at the Phon D Sutton Recreation Area.
Date: 2/2009
Location: Unincorporated
Keywords: Public Space, Riparian, River, Salt River, Vegetation, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Temporary Lake At Dusk
Description: A lake that formed during unusually heavy rains, with plants left poking up out of the water photographed at dusk.
Date: 2/2008
Location: Unincorporated
Keywords: Riparian, Salt River, Vegetation, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Temporary Lake
Description: A temporary lake that appeared after a storm, flooding a grassy field next to the Granite Reef Dam.
Date: 1/2009
Location: Unincorporated
Keywords: Riparian, Salt River, Vegetation, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: String Tied To Branch
Description: A string tied to a branch hanging into the Salt River just above the Granite Reef Dam.
Date: 1/2008
Location: Unincorporated
Keywords: Marker, Public Space, Riparian, Salt River, Vegetation, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Sports Bottle Fishing At Dusk
Description: Two fishing reels made from sports bottles on the bank of the Salt River at dusk. The one on right appears to have caught something, as the bottle is moving back and forth.
Date: 2/2008
Location: Unincorporated
Keywords: Recreation, Riparian, Salt River, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Seussian Island
Description: A small island that has grown on the tip of a fallen tree trunk in the Salt River just upriver from the Granite Reef Dam.
Date: 1/2008
Location: Unincorporated
Keywords: Rephotography, Riparian, Salt River, Vegetation, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Small Island After storm
Description: A loose rephotograph of the small island off the bank of the Salt River a year later surrounded by detritus.
Date: 1/2009
Location: Unincorporated
Keywords: Artifact, Rephotography, Riparian, River, Salt River, Vegetation, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Floating Plate
Description: A plate floating in an algae bloom.
Date: 11/2008
Location: Unincorporated
Keywords: Artifact, Riparian, River, Salt River, Vegetation, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Dried Shoe
Description: Dried shoe on the Salt River bank after a flood.
Date: 11/2008
Location: Unincorporated
Keywords: Artifact, Riparian, River, Salt River, Vegetation, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Transient\'s Dwelling
Description: A tent hidden amongst the trees in the flood channel along the riverbed where transient\'s have made their home and left their mark.
Date: 3/2007
Location: Mesa
Keywords: Artifact, Housing, Interior Space, Private Space, Public Space, Riparian, Salt River, Vegetation, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Submerged Bike Tire
Description: A bike flat bike tire submerged in the water along the banks of the Salt River.
Date: 2/2007
Location: Mesa
Keywords: Artifact, Riparian, River, Salt River, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: High Water Mark
Description: Dirt in the trees marking the high point that the water has reached in the past and will probably reach again in the future.
Date: 3/2007
Location: Mesa
Keywords: Riparian, River, Vegetation, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Faded Memory
Description: A photograph with a person and their Christmas tree in which half of the image has been washed away, sitting in a temporary brook that was gone the next week. Found in the flood channel of the Salt River.
Date: 3/2007
Location: Mesa
Keywords: Artifact, Riparian, Salt River, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Plant Beneath Water During Flooding
Description: A plant half-submerged after the January flooding of the Salt River at Central Avenue.
Date: 2/2008
Location: Phoenix
Keywords: Riparian, River, Salt River, Vegetation, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Rag In Tree Under Overpass
Description: High water mark remnants from January storms that flooded the river.
Date: 2/2008
Location: Phoenix
Keywords: Riparian, River, Vegetation, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: New Green Grass In Pond
Description: New grass sprouts running into a small pond at Central Avenue.
Date: 2/2008
Location: Phoenix
Keywords: River, Salt River, Vegetation, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Frothy Water with Dried Grasses and Ceme
Description: The frothy water at the bottom of a small waterfall of water being emptied into the Salt River at Central Avenue.
Date: 2/2008
Location: Phoenix
Keywords: River, Salt River, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Water Drainage Grate On Salt River
Description: The drainage end of a water pipe emptying water into the Salt River west of 7th Avenue.
Date: 3/2008
Location: Phoenix
Keywords: Public Works, Riparian, Salt River, Vegetation, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Underwater Growth
Description: Looking through the water at dusk on the Salt River by 7th Avenue.
Date: 3/2009
Location: Phoenix
Keywords: Public Space, Riparian, River, Salt River, Vegetation, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Thirst Buster
Description: Black-Eyed Susans along the banks of the Salt River near 7th Avenue.
Date: 3/2009
Location: Phoenix
Keywords: Artifact, Public Space, Riparian, River, Salt River, Vegetation, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Dry Riverbed
Description: The dry riverbed west of 7th Avenue on the Salt River, looking East.
Date: 3/2008
Location: Phoenix
Keywords: Riparian, Salt River, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Flooded Roadway
Description: A flooded roadway on the Salt River after heavy rainfall.
Date: 2/2008
Location: Tolleson
Keywords: Public Space, Riparian, River, Salt River, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Plant Growing in Flooded Riparian Area
Description: A plant emerging from the water in a flooded area of the Gila River right next to the flooded roadway.
Date: 2/2008
Location: Tolleson
Keywords: Gila River, Riparian, Salt River, Vegetation, Water, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Dappled Path
Description: The path alongside the Salt River in the Casey Abbott Recreation Area.
Date: 2/2008
Location: Goodyear
Keywords: Public Space, Riparian, River, Salt River, Vegetation, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Rebar Overlooking Gillespie Dam
Description: Rebar sticking out of a destroyed wall overlooking Gillespie Dam.
Date: 2/2008
Location: Arlington
Keywords: Artifact, Gila River, Public Works, Riparian, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Bird Tracks Along Gillespie Dam
Description: Bird tracks through the mud and jumping up onto a ledge along the Gillespie Dam, along with one of numerous dead fish stranded by receding floods.
Date: 2/2008
Location: Arlington
Keywords: Artifact, Gila River, Marker, Public Works, Riparian, Water, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Adam Thorman
Title: Last Foothold Approaching The Blown Dam
Description: The last piece of concrete to stand on leading up to the blown out section of the Gillespie Dam.
Date: 2/2008
Location: Arlington
Keywords: Demolition, Gila River, Public Works, Water, All Images

TOP