Container About


We experience the river as a natural force flowing through the landscape, yet all our major rivers are in fact run like machines. Since the 1850s, we have dammed every major tributary of the Willamette River, and most of these dams do not have fish ladders. As a result we have been forced to truck salmon around the dams and depend entirely on hatcheries to maintain their populations. This is the entry point of inquiry of my video installation Container. The footage screened represents the last 28 miles of the Spring Chinook run on the middle fork of the Willamette. I built a neutral buoyant camera rig that floats freely amongst the salmon and is transported with them to the hatchery. In the gallery the container puts the viewer in an immersive space that is alien, confusing and claustrophobic. It is a space that experientially documents the strange contrivances we’ve made necessary in the life cycle of the salmon.