These images are a series of photographs that document and gather state prisons, federal prisons, and 18 private detention centers that make up California’s prison system. Through gathering these sites together, the vastness of California’s Prison Industrial Complex can be seen.
The photographs are taken at a distance in order to give a sense of place to a facility that is designed to be institutionally anonymous. The photographs are made with long exposures at night so that the lights from the prison illuminate the landscape. The light that controls the prison population stands as an indicator of state control. The visual effect both references nuclear bomb test imagery as well as photographs of sunsets.
California Concentration Camps
During World War II, more than 120,000 individuals of Japanese ancestry were held without trial in a complex network of detention sites throughout the U.S. Over two-thirds of those imprisoned were U.S. citizens. There were 21 of these sites in California alone. Many of these sites were parks and fairgrounds before the war and after the war. Others were created for the sole purpose of incarcerating those deemed disloyal.
Some have plaques, some have educational centers and some have nothing to commemorate the injustices that occurred.
This is a series of photographs of all of these sited in California as they look now. They are combined with images taken during incarceration and stand as a memorial to those that were unjustly imprisoned and as a reminder that these horrible thing happened, in these specific places, that are part of the California history and landscape.
Tule Lake Segregation Center
This is one of the 10 concentration camps that housed people of Japanese ancestry during WWII. It housed those deemed disloyal and was maximum security. There were 18,789 was the maximum population of this site.
Active from May 27, 1942 to March 20, 1946
Griffith Park Detention Facility
Located at the north side of Griffith Park in Los Angeles, this was a temporary detention site in December 1941, housing 77 people who were then moved to other facilities.
Griffith Park Detention Center -detail
Tuna Canyon Detention Station
Tuna Canyon Detention site held approximatly 300 people. This was a temporary holding facility, where prisoners were held before being transported to permanent detention camps.
Active from December 16, 1941 to October 1, 1943
ICE Detention Centers
These are photographs of the detention centers that house people that have been detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
Originally, they were part of the series on the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) but these centers are part of a much different debate with the recent Supreme Court ruling it legal to detain non-citizens indefinitely, pending deportation. These are the places where this happens.
"If there is an error of human judgment, I am the human." - William Mulholland
These are pictures of places where dams have failed in California.
Sweetwater Dam is located in San Diego County. The dam was completed in 1886. In 1905, the dam went beyond capacity and overflowed but the dam survived. On January 30, 1916, the dam flooded again, this time washing out the side of the cliff and loosing 2/3 of the water in the reservoir.
Sweetwater Dam - detail
Pictured is Charles Hatfield, a rainmaker hired by the San Diego City Council to provide rain to fill local reservoirs. It worked too well, causing both the Sweetwater and Lower Otay dams to fail.
Lava Camp Tailing Mine Dam
The Lava Camp Tailing Mine site is located outside of Nevada City in a semi populated are of the Sierra Foothills. The site was an acitve gold mine until 1943 and the tailings were held in a log dam. The water had very high Arsenic levels, a product or gold mining. In 1997, a large storm broke the dam and 2 million gallons of toxic water were spilled downstream into wetlands. It is now a superfund site.
Baldwin Hills Dam
Failed in 1995
Folsom Dam detail
Lower Otay Dam
Lower Otay Dam detail
Lower Van Norman Dam
St. Francis Dam
Failed in 1928
St Francis Dam detail
Upper Jones Tract Levee
Proposed nuclear waste site in the Mojave Desert
Santa Susana Field Labratory
In 1959, this was the site of the first partial core meltdown in a commercial nuclear power plant. There were 10 reactors active on this site from 1953 to 1980. The meltdown was hiddeen from the public, specifically, the community of Simi Valley which is next to the site.
Mesquite Regional Landfill
Former mine and landfill that is propsed as the Los Angeles mega dump site. It is the only dump in California that is accessible by train.
Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Plant
This power plant, outside of Sacremento, was decomiissioned in 1989. It still stores radioactive waste.
Kettleman City Waste Facility
A chemical waste disposal and treatment site that is one of the few that still accept PCBs. 4 miles away from the town of Avenal and the prison located there.
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
This nuclear power plant, North of San Diego, was closed in 2013 and is in the process of being decommisioned. It was closed due to safety concerns and due to heightened awareness and protests after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Deer in the Headlands
Site of the Temecula Massacre
Solar 1 and 2 site
First solar plant in the United States
Foster City Mine
Quarry created to create the cement to build the Dumbarton Bridge
Highway 99 road widening project
Near Pacifica, epicenter of the 1906 earthquake.
The Colonel Armstrong Tree
Over 1400 years old
Lake Isabella Dam
Upstream from Bakersfield, CA. It is one of the most unsafe dams in the United States
John C Doyle Dam on the Klamath River
This and other dams on the Klamath River are being removed in order to restore Salmon populations on the river.