Los Angeles Dances of Water and Power

On January 16, 1968, at 10:00 PM PST, LADWP workers breached the Los Angeles River, inadvertently unearthing an unknown lifeform from a fissure in the concrete.

The creature’s body is an amalgamation of mutated forms: part human, part crustacean, and part trash. Its scaly skin is a sickly shade of iridescent gray, adorned with a hard plastic exoskeleton, protruding wires, and twisted appendages.

This shocking hybridization is the result of countless lifeforms and pollutants trapped within the concrete hex. The intermingling toxic cocktail of petrochemicals and wastewater ferment beneath the channel, creating an unprecedented genetic potential for birthing a new abomination into existence.

The creature has continuously evaded detainment and grown to monstrous proportions, tearing through the urban landscape, disturbing commercial space, and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

Some have crudely categorized the figure as a demon from another world. Others see the creature as a poignant metaphor highlighting the ramifications of humanity's reckless treatment of the environment. Regardless, the creature has forged a unique reputation in Los Angeles.

costume collaboration with MOIRE DESIGN
photos 1-6 by Tina Sapszian

California Water Wars

011668 appears to us as an iteration of the Japanese kappa. With a sense of humor and a taste for flesh, the amphibious reptiloid has been described as both a water sprite and river scourge.

Unearthed from the desiccated carcass of Owens Lake by Mulholland himself, 011668 was held in captivity until 1924 when a group of California Water Activists released the creature into the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

Upon arrival 272 kilometers south, 011668 remained an urban legend until 1938, when 115 people were killed in a “major flood.” The City of Los Angeles swiftly requested the support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to contain the creature within a concrete hex, where it remains today.