In our last class meeting we went to a presentation given by the artist Kim Stringfellow. The main focus of her work, besides working as a Professor at San Diego State University, is researching environmental issues and documenting them through photography, digital media, video, and much more.
In this particular presentation given by professor Stringfellow, she talked about three of her research projects. The first was about the Jackrabbit homestead which is both a book and web presentation about a Small Tract Act in the Morongo Basin region close to Joshua Tree National Park. There was also a car audio tour that she showed the audience. Many of the stories on the audio track were told by locals from the area, and even artists who have chosen to live in the Jackrabbit Homestead in cabins, and use the area to inspire their artwork.
The next project she showed us was about the little known Salton Sea. The Salton Sea is California’s largest inland body of water, yet many Californian’s have never even heard of it. I must confess that I am on of them. That’s what made this presentation even more interesting. A book was passed around with stunning images from the Salton Sea. Professor Stringfellow showed us images of decayed fish and bird carcasses that have fallen victim to the dried up areas of the sea. These pictures were disturbing but beautiful as well.
The last project that was shown was called “Safe as Mother’s Milk: The Hanford Project.” This was about a area in southeastern Washington state that over a course of 40 years had been exposed to radioactive materials without the knowledge of the people who lived there. The project was accompanied by many black and white photos from Hanford, and it is sad to see that this was allowed to go on for so long without alerting the people who lived around that are, especially downwind. Afterwards there was a Q and A and students asked Professor Stringfellow about her research. Here is slideshow of some pictures from Professor Stringfellow’s projects.