Spiral Jetty

At the invitation of Chris Taylor and Ingrid Schaffner, we visited Spiral Jetty and the desolate northern half of the Great Salt Lake to participate in the launch of Chris's (and Steve Badgett's) Great Salt Lake Exploration Platform (GSLEP), which is a completely solar powered floating platform designed to enable prolonged stays on the lake for the purpose of visual and performative research related to the unique and extreme environment and cultural history of the lake.

We camped at the base of an old abandoned oil exploration jetty about a mile down the shore from Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty, from which we could walk out into the dry lake bed for almost a mile to the current functional edge of the lake, where the GSLEP was docked. The level of the lake is roughly twenty feet lower than it was in the 1980s, so the Jetty is rather exposed these days.

Salt was everywhere, including on my camera lens (in the upper-left corner of most of these images).


Arriving at the Jetty, 6pm.
“Rachel “red “Rachel

Rachel walks across the sand flats and the salt flats to the GSLEP. One of the few life-forms in the lake is a type of bacteria that makes the water look red.

The campsite at the edge of the dry lake bed. You can see the old oil jetty reaching out toward/into the lake.
“campsite “our

Nighttime at the campsite.
“making “morning

Morning activities.
“pelicans“ “snake“

Pelicans frequently flew overhead in formation and often would skim right along the surface of the lake but never go in. A snake slithered into the camp for a while. There were jack rabbits, too, but they were too quick for me to photograph.

After breakfast we walked out to the GSLEP, past this alien-graffitied rusty metal sphere.

We arrive at the GSLEP, with Marie Lorenz, Matthew Coolidge, and Deborah Stratman, as well as Chris and Steve and Ingrid.
“Ingrid “Ingrid, “Matt

Ingrid and me.

Chris on the top level.
“red “Marie“
“red “red
“Marie “swimming
“the “storm

Relaxing for a little while and then time to break down the GSLEP.
“breaking “loading

And load the parts onto Chris's truck.

Rachel and I had a last, evening-time visit to the Spiral Jetty.

“jetty “jetty “jetty