THE MOJAVE DESERT
photographs and writing by Andy Willinger.
Published by America Through Time/ Fonthill Media.
In Southern California, settlers have long ventured into the Mojave Desert, seduced by its capacious horizons and fragile beauty, only to be abased by the intense heat, bone-dry terrain and maddening isolation. Industry, intent on extracting the land of its essence, set up operations, then walked away when there was nothing left worth taking. Civilization has always pushed into the frontier, and quite often the frontier pushes back.
Areas like the forsaken homesteads of Wonder Valley and the abandoned mining operations of Joshua Tree seem simultaneously depleted yet majestically audacious in their quiet desolation, juxtaposed against the breathtaking landscapes of the desert.
Abandoned California: The Mojave Desert is a collection of photographs and writings by Andy Willinger that capture the majesty of these forsaken buildings, vehicles and artifacts of the Mojave’s once vibrant past. These sites have become meaningful, unintended statements – not only as vibrant, ephemeral artworks of minimal beauty, but as testament to the impact on nature by humanity. Undaunted, the Mojave Desert continues to brashly flaunt its skill in overcoming man’s attempts to conquer it.
Abandoned California: The Mojave Desert is published by America Through Time. It is available for order at AMAZON.com, and stores where fine books are sold.
© 2020. All rights reserved.
THE SALTON SEA
Photographs and writing by Andy Willinger.
The Salton Sea, California’s largest inland body of water, was a spectacular oasis in the desert which attracted droves of boating, fishing, and beach enthusiasts for fun in the sun. Throughout the 1950s and ’60s, the Salton Sea was a notorious playground for celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, and the Beach Boys, who routinely drove out from Hollywood, 175 miles away.
By the 1970s, unpredictable and poisonous agricultural runoff continually flooded the shorelines and caused many of the fish to die. After storms decimated several of the resorts and marinas, many residents were forced to abandon their homes and businesses. These once glorious seaside towns have been reduced to bleak, desolate wastelands, as the Salton Sea is now drying up. It has become the site of an ecological disaster, as toxic dust from its exposed bottom is picked up by winds, poisoning the humans, wildlife, and agriculture of the entire region.
Abandoned California: The Salton Sea is a collection of photographs and writings by Andy Willinger which capture the sublime beauty of the forsaken landscapes, buildings, and artifacts of this historic area’s once vibrant past.
Abandoned California: The Salton Sea is published by America Through Time. It is available for order at AMAZON.com, and other stores where fine books are sold.
© 2021. All rights reserved.
Ruins of the American Southwest
photographs and writing by Andy Willinger