Mulholland’s Gold follows the water chain that evidences the large-scale manipulation of the natural terrain. Posited as signs of progress and technological achievements for the greater good of society, the various links combine to showcase the artificial treatment and subsequent destruction of the terrain. The project begins with the series, Urbanization, and ends with the series, A Tale of Two Cities. The title of the project references William Mulholland, the head of the Los Angeles City Water Department in 1913, who spearheaded one of the most ambitious industrial efforts known to man – bringing water to Los Angeles.
My focus and idea centered around Los Angeles, the city in which I resided. Los Angeles was the closest model in proximity whose urban expansion, ingenuity, politics, economics, development, growth and dependency have been so deeply mired in water, that without it, the city would not have transformed into a megalopolis that it is today.
The photographs in Mulholland’s Gold represent some of water’s spatial, industrial and cultural footprints, that have transfigured the natural landscape. These images however, do not tell the entire story as they are devoid of quantitative means by which to measure or depict other related aspects such as, the toxicity released into the air and groundwater, the destruction of natural ecosystems, or the loss of fresh water due to evaporation and outdated infrastructure.