Action: Crisis Archive

November 1, 2016 – November 3, 2020

The Crisis Archive is part of the Optics Division practice of using analogue methods to engage with the multifaceted crises we are faced with in today's world. This use of film seeks to create an archive of photographic negatives as a real, physical reminder of the changes we are all living through since the election of Donald Trump in November 2016. The analog cameras of the Crisis Archive reached out to bear witness to resistance actions and wide-scale movements that became further entrenched during this presidential cycle. With an intensifying assault on reason, non-white people and the environment being broadcast from the White House, people rose up to demand a different tomorrow, free from the oppression, social injustice and violence that plague the past and the present. The imagery found in the Crisis Archive charts 4 years of peoples' struggles to protect Life, Water and the Environment in an era of national and global peril. From Standing Rock to Cochabamba and the Migrant Caravans of Central America to the Fires of the West, the Crisis Archive engages in questioning the foundations of history through their current expressions on Turtle Island, this continent now named America. The definition of Crisis itself helps to sharpen our focus on the epoch we are now living through, and perhaps the questions we need to ask to see the path ahead to a liberated, peaceful and regenerated future for all.


  • a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger
  • a time when a difficult or important decision must be made
  • the turning point of a disease when an important change takes place, indicating either recovery or death
A region defined by characteristics of the natural environment rather than man-made division.
Greater West, Turtle Island, Los Angeles Watershed , Northwestern Great Plains, Southeastern Plains, Payahuunadu