Phelps, Trojan Nuclear Power Plant, Prescott Beach, Oregon, January 6, 2002
From 1997 to 2002, Brent Phelps made a photographic survey of the trans-Mississippi West that Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and their Corps of Discovery explored from 1804 to 1806 on a commission from President Thomas Jefferson. Using GPS technology, Phelps precisely identified locations visited by the expedition, and photographing during the same seasons, he endeavored to capture each location in weather conditions similar to those documented by the explorers. Here, Phelps’ image depicts a nuclear power plant just forty miles from Portland that had been closed for almost a decade. In contrast, William Clark’s 1805 journal entry from the same location mentions the proliferation of birds in this area.