In December 2007, Adam took me to a pool in December in Los Angeles and I was able to swim laps outside. It was especially gratifying because my leg had been encased in an air cast for a torn ligament for three months. It was at that moment that I established that swimming outdoors in the winter was a future goal (hello, giving snowbirds a good name). Last fall, I determined that the specific pool did not matter, it was the act that was important. Even though I have no previous history with the Shadow Mountain Resort swimming pool in Palm Desert, it became a source of inspiration over the course of 2.5 days.
It was difficult to convince oneself to dive in despite the 80º temperature of the salt water since the outdoor air was hovering around 65º most of the time. The most significant thing about my first California December lap swimming experience was watching the sky while doing the backstroke. In the images, it was important to include evidence of what lay above in addition to what was below. Anyway, these are the three I am thinking about (yes, there is repetition but it will be narrowed down).
As with everything in this series, none of the images are final. They are part of a greater whole (installation, book, sculpture, sound piece, video, mail art, etc.) that I hope will start to materialize once documentation from all the locations is collected (at this rate there are only five more - I may have added yet another one, damn it).
Coincidentally, the swimming pool opened in December (the 10th) in 1948. Above is a terrible photograph of it in a display case next to the clubhouse. Twelve people on surfboards is a good indicator of scale.
This postcard had my name on it (and will probably be featured in the end product in some fashion). Oh the times of dangerous ladders and pool toys that will never see the light of day in the 21st century and when Palm Desert still looked like a desert rather than an over irrigated, environmentally problematic oasis.