Beyond Mecca is a photo and video project about a journey from Palm Springs, through Joshua Tree, to Bombay Beach, California, a small town languishing at the edge of the Salton Sea. There’s palpable tension in Bombay Beach, sitting upon a fault line that meets the beginning of the world's end, bone-lined beaches, and jagged earth that begs for the water to return. It’s a place where the misfits, monsters, and legends roam, artists and derelicts are alike, and wild dogs fight in the night. Crossing paths with strangers, we took the potential of the moment to connect to the past and become the future—a surreal trip in the high of lockdown.
The Salton Sea was created in 1904 via water run-off from diverting the Colorado River into California's Imperial Valley agricultural regions. It became a remote testing ground for the atomic bomb in the mid-forties and then arose the Salton Riveria, a playground for Hollywood’s rich and famous, formed and evaporated is now a collection of decimated structures. Salientated and polluted, the 90s brought massive fish die-off, with clouds of toxic dust and stench reaching LA. Now there is a new promise for the dying land that holds one of North America's largest known lithium reserves.