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2021 SPE Annual Conference: Imagining Legacy: Archives, Collections, and Memoria

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S. Adam Cook

SPE Member since 2018
Member Chapter: Midwest

The Tub

In literature, New Orleans is often referred to as the Crescent City (for the curve of the Mississippi it was built along) or the Big Easy (for its laid-back vibe). 'The Tub' derives from 'the bowl,' a pessimistic term locals use to describe the location and their situation. By now, most of the bowl lies at or below sea level—some spots as much as fifteen feet below. When you're in the city, it's hard to imagine the place sinking underneath you, and yet it is.

Growing up on Bayou Teche, Louisiana, the majority of my youth was spent trying to understand the complexity of my communities relationship with nature. Bearing witness to the aftermaths of Katrina, Rita, the BP oil spill, and the continued erosion of Plaquemines Parish, I developed an understanding around the environment and our relationship to it. If we want our relationship to improve, then we must stop trying to bend nature to our will. Sadly, this idea seems improbable, as my community has become too reliant on controlling nature, and now the associated flooding, to maintain an outdated way of life. This work delves into understanding our attempts at controlling nature and what that control is doing.


Black Water

Tree with Jaw

Untitled (Lake Martin)

Untitled (Tub Floor)

Self-Portrait with Root System

What the Water Gave Me (After Kahlo)

Untitled (Limp Tree)

Untitled (Torn Page)

Burnt Bush


The Haunted, Frightened Trees

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