Dam Removed, with Graffiti and Two Eggs
- All the King’s Horses:Matilija Dam should come down. It's silted up and blocks steelhead migrations. An unknown graffiti artist painted on scissors. I've added egg sculptures to remind us of Humpty-Dumpty's eco message.
Matilija Dam, completed in 1948, had to be notched in 1965 and 1978 to prevent its failure. Even then it became silted up and useless for water storage and will be filled by 2020. It blocks steelhead trout migrations and creates a near-stagnant pool of warm water further damaging the ecosystem that North Matilija Creek once supported. The plans to remove it are on hold because of impacts of all the silt. An unknown pesky street artist painted a scissors and cutting lines on the face of the dam, encouraging removal. This graffiti has made the dam somewhat famous. I photoshopped an image of it with wavy lines to indicate an artistic design for the removal process, and added two large egg sculptures to the remaining sides. The top egg perches precariously on a wall and the bottom egg suggests a great fall. This proposed eco-art of mine would remind us that once an ecosystem has been severely altered, as in dam building, restoring it is only partially successful—damage will remain to the original system for years, with unforeseen effects. Nobody can put broken eco-eggs back together again, a Humpty-Dumpty reminder to kids of what they should avoid.