“A portrait is not a likeness. The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact but an opinion. There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth."

-Richard Avedon

“I really believe there are things nobody would see
if I didn’t photograph them.”


East Jemez Landscapes Futures Project

A Collaboration of Art and Science

​Since 1996, the eastern flanks of the Jemez Mountains have been dramatically impacted by hotter droughts and fire severity far outside the historical range of variability. Over the past 20 years these major disturbances, driven by warmer temperatures and lower precipitation, have significantly impacted an area roughly 300,000 acres in size that crosses multiple land management boundaries including: Bandelier National MonumentValles Caldera National PreserveSanta Fe National Forest, Santa Clara PuebloCochiti PuebloSan Ildefonso PuebloJemez PuebloLos Alamos County, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The Edge Effect: re-Imagining Place in the East Jemez

As the first Artists-in-Residence for the East Jemez Landscape Futures Project, ​Shawn Skabelund and I created The Edge Effect: re-Imagining Place in the East Jemeza site-specific, place-based installation inside the historic fire lookout tower at Bandelier National Monument.

The exhibit focuses on the historical boundaries that have fractured the East Jemez landscape thus fracturing the human community as a whole. Communities across this landscape have faced unprecedented landscape changes due to severe drought through climate change and catastrophic wildfires and intense flooding.

Dozens of lines of filament spring from the circular fire spotter to the square ceiling of the lookout, creating a vortex form. A thin layer of ponderosa pine pollen covers the fire spotter creating a perfect yellow circle and a map on a circle of Plexiglas protects and reflects lines onto the pollen. A crow flies with the vortex as the silent witness to the changes it has seen in the landscape. Of the 20 windows in the lookout, 12 are covered with maps that have been printed on clear film. The maps show the boundaries of landscape, fire, water and the defined boundaries of the inhabitants. The maps correspond to the areas affected by fire and flooding in the direction the window is facing.

A short video introduction of the intent and inspiration of the collaborative exhibit by Kathleen Brennan and Shawn Skabelund.

View the maps with the boundaries of communities, fires, and flooding.

Research and Resources for East Jemez Landscape

This project is a collaboration of organizations with similar interests in the education of the East Jemez Landscape

East Jemez Landscape Futures

Bandelier National Monument

Pajarito Environmental Educational Center (PEEC)