Vital Current – Seeking the San Lorenzo



Vital Current – Seeking the San Lorenzo  provides a visceral experience of interacting with archival and contemporary images and videos of the San Lorenzo River. The river flows through Santa Cruz (just behind the buildings across the street) and is key to the city’s location and history. Participants can explore this visual history by “dipping” their fingers into the river on the touchscreen interface, causing new images to appear and disappear in the river shaped projection on the lobby windows.

The layering of different images into the projection, allows people to explore the many ways the river has been enjoyed, used, abused, cared for, and pictured by local residents. While the changing and evolving history of our human relationship with the San Lorenzo River is specific to Santa Cruz region, our relationship with the environment in general is an urgent universal concern.

Project Team:
Santa Cruz Museum of Art History Project Team: Stacey Garcia, Marla Novo, Justin Collins
Project Management: Dana Hemenway
Programming Support: Mary Franck
Fabrication: Conrad M. Meyers II
Project Intern: Alison Swanson

This project was made possible in part by a grant from The Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund that also is supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Imagery and video featured in the piece were collected and contributed from the following sources with the help of many generous archivists, librarians, and individuals:
The Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz Economic Development Group, Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, the UC Santa Cruz Special Collections at the McHenry Library, Coastal Watershed Council, Santa Cruz County Arts Council, Oddball Film & Video, and many personal photo and video collections. Credits for specific photos and videos appear on the kiosk as each image appears.