San Andreas Project

An installation at Claremont Graduate University

Oct. 30 - Nov. 5, 2006

The San Andreas Fault is
California's major earthquake
fault. It is where the Pacific
Tectonic Plate slides past the
North American Plate. This
installation interprets and
misinterprets the significance
of geo-tectonic activity.

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photo by G.K. Gilbert, U.S. Geological Survey
In 1857, the Fort Tejon Earthquake on the San Andreas Fault resulted in a 30-foot displacement along the faultzone. A corral built directly on the faultline was changed from a circular-shape to an s-shape-- broken open.
Tectonic Plates

drywall sheets, dirt


shovel, cello strings, wood, horsehair

A shovel, like the one used in the accompanying video, is outfitted with cello strings. The strings measure 36.9 cm., which is the average distance the San Andreas Fault has moved since the day I was born. This personal measurement now creates a specific and personal tonal range for this instrument. The San Andreas fault is a lateral strike-slip fault. The correct way to play this instrument is with lateral strike-slip movements.

copper wire, horse hair, powerplugs

copper wires transmit power and communication over great distances in an instant. Hair grows imperceptibly slowly. An earthquake fault moves imperceptibly slowly, and on occasionally, extremely powerfully. These powerlines represent both of these energies together.

Powerlines (detail) two video images

Mojave Desert

I continuously dig a hole,
and carry the dirt offscreen
towards the corner of the room.
within a smaller video image,
a mountain begins to grow
as I move the dirt from the
hole on the right, and pile it up
in the image on the left.