About “Rivers” (season 1, episode 5)
I first encountered Carolina Caycedo’s work–which is at the center of episode 5–while doing some research for my Master’s thesis, which focused on the aesthetics of water reclamation in the western United States. Caycedo’s work struck and inspired me from the moment I saw it. At that point in my research, it sometimes didn’t feel like anyone cared about rivers and the destructive effects of damming on them. But Caycedo is someone who has dedicated her art practice to the subject, and in turn, the work she creates is tender and personal, yet vibrantly political, courageous, and defiant. I am continually inspired by her art, but I was equally compelled by the conversations I had with experts about her art—Lisa Blackmore is a brilliant scholar who, like Caycedo, leans into interdisciplinary environmental work, while Carla Acevedo-Yates curates Caycedo’s work with extreme care and expertise. And my discussion with geomorphologist Frank Magilligan about the current and future practices of damming brings even more insight to our understandings of rivers and how we might envision a potential, hopeful future without dams.
The Columbia River near Bonneville Dam