RÍO GRANDE, Albuquerque, New Mexico


Tome II: Fremont Cottonwood (Populus fremontii) at dusk. 2009.

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Río Grande participants.

Cleo reading Tome II. Photo by Claire Cote.

In June 2009 after showing the Ice Receding/Books Reseeding video at the Albuquerque Museum, eighty participants boarded buses and travelled to the Río Grande to witness and help launch eleven Ice Books. The conditions were right (and ripe) for Tome II, a 300-pound Ice Book with paragraphs of local cottonwood seeds (Populus fremontii), to be placed next to the Río to melt (instead of putting it into the river to float downstream). It was the season during which the cottonwood seeds would normally begin to take root and germinate. However, along much of the Río Grande, since the river has been straightened and not allowed its annual overflow into the floodplain, cottonwood seeds fall onto dry land under the canopy and are unable to sprout. The melting Ice Book recreated, in microcosm, the right conditions for cottonwood seeds to grow.

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Gift packets of native riparian seeds.

Launching Book XXXI. Photo by Ben Daitz. 2009.

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BOOK XXXII. Tibetan word for river.


BOOK XXXII: Indian Rice Grass (Oryzopsis hymenoides). 2009.


Cottonwood seeds on tree.


Cottonwood Seed Book: Fremont Cottonwood (Populus fremontii). 2009.

Cottonwood Seed Book floating.

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BOOK XXX: Riparian Grass Seeds. 2009.


View from hot air balloon of Río Grande as it runs through Albuquerque.


BOOK XXXI: Mt. Mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus). 2009

Mt. Mahogany seed.

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Seven Pages: Mixed Riparian Grasses. 2009.

Seven More Pages: Native Grasses, Lemonade Berry (Rhus trilobata) and Desert Willow Seed Pods.


Installation in 516 Art Gallery after June 2009 Ice Book event on the bank of the Río Grande.

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Seeds remaining from melted ice book in gallery.

Seeds from installation returned to the Río.

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