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Layers of time

Behind the visual richness of the South Bay lie its interesting history and the active formulation, at this very moment, of bold initiatives for its future. For two years I have taken low-level aerial photographs over the South Bay salt ponds. That these images are often visually compelling is in no small part because they reveal remnants of an enigmatic past. It turns out that aerial images greatly reduce sky reflection from the salt pond surfaces thus exposing colors, textures and information hidden from normal points of view. Furthermore, the views exposed contain elements from a variety of historic layers (see examples in the attached Appendix) as though layers of tracing paper on an architect’s desk.

To this day the landscape holds remnants of wind-driven Archimedes screws, narrow-gauge railroads, entrepreneurial produce landings, industrial works, and abandoned towns. When researched these remnants yield entertaining tales involving ingenious invention, Chinese laborers, camels, oyster wars, and bawdy houses.

for the moment see http://ostro.ced.berkeley.edu/~crisr/he/docs/Salt_Pond_N1.pdf

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