Modern dams and canals have filled the Southwest with bizarre wonders: bustling metropolises hundreds of miles from water sources, alfalfa farms stretching to the horizon, fishermen reeling in Asian carp while standing on manicured lawns. Because we love to suspend disbelief, these wonders reassure us that we can make this land like any other place. They sustain our faith in reclamation, a faith that has allowed the West to bloom into its own abstracted present. But living within an abstraction is still a life.
Sonoran Water uses text and photographs to explore life in the modern Salt River Valley through the waterways that have been made to sustain it and which may ultimately reclaim this land for the desert. This book is a collaboration between David Blakeman and Jason Bruner. This 50-page art book was released in January of 2021 by Arizona State University’s Desert Humanities Initiative.