Heat River is a photographic study of a rivermouth. The river empties into Lake Superior in a remote part of Michigan. These images were made within feet of one another on the banks of the rivermouth over the course of July and August 2021. Over those months the shape of the riverbanks, the quality of light, and the character of the water often shifted to such a degree that the rivermouth was rendered unfamiliar. I often had to reassess the subject of my photographs as though I had never seen the mouth before. With this in mind I aim to convey the sheer particularity of the rivermouth – the mouth in excess of a stable identity.
These images are long-exposure photographs; most are exposures of four to eight minutes. They were made at the tail-end of dusk. Dim light is brightened beyond what eyes alone can see. Because of this, the time of day often appears androgynous. Some of these images are lit by both the sun and the moon. In many of these images the light is hazy and muted. This is from the smoke of forest fires in Ontario thickening the air over Lake Superior.