Rock art photos, mine included, tend to frame a timeless presence. Sure, most petroglyphs have been in place for centuries, many for millennia. The stone itself has changed in ways simultaneously revealing and obscuring a subtle sense of time, altering the sense of the original markings and layerings. A latent beauty. Yet the surround - lands and waters, plants and animals - are often heavily disrupted, most profoundly in the recent 150 years. A blip, rapidly in flux. Profound change impinged, more forthcoming.
These cultural and aspirational changes foster a measure of economic success – logging, damming, grazing, draining, channeling, pumping, piping, powering. Most anyone who's lived in or traveled through this country can see and knows the score. Most profound to me is the killings, direct or indirect. For example, native mammals fearfully classed as Predators or Competitors – coyote, cougar, bear, rabbit, prairie dog, for example, are trapped, shot, poisoned with relentless abandon. Plants too are attacked. Most visible these days in the arid west are the acres upon acres of clear-cut Western Juniper, including many mature trees in place before arrival of the Euroamerican culture in the 1800s. Sometimes the logic of cut lands demands a burning, seared to the ground. Rock art as witness.
This collection of 24 photos from a trip this month in Three Corners – the border intersection of Oregon-California-Nevada - navigates places of the actual as a way of looking, of being present in old time and new.