PROJECT: Ajo Landscapes
The landscape in and around Ajo, Arizona provides a valuable lens with which to examine the way people and place interact. Ajo's geography dictates its industries. With the closure of the mine, Ajo's main sources of income have become border patrol and retirees. Ubiquitous green and white SUVs patrol for desperate migrants in the same desert which provide winter homes to the RVs of those who migrate from the north. Conversely Ajo's landscape is dramatically altered by the presence of the mining operation which once sustained it. It has become like a immense apocalyptic and alien sculpture garden. Waste rock heaps and tailing piles tower over the desert as artificial mountains. The vast lilac pit (1500 feet deep) acts as an inverted monument to man's industrious nature, tenacity and hubris. It will mark this place for perhaps a million years.
Title: Border Patrol and Tailing Piles
Description: During operation the mine produced mountains of waste rock (right) and smelter tailings (left). Since the closure of the mine, the Ajo's primary industries have become the US Border Patrol and services for RVs.
Keywords: Border, Demolition, Panorama, Transportation, All Images
Title: Ajo Pit #1
Description: The New Cordelia open pit copper mine at sun set. While minerals have been gathered in the area for centuries, open pit operations began in Ajo in 1916 and ended following a strike in 1985.
Keywords: Desert, Panorama, All Images