Something Fishy on Pelican State Beach

Public Access is an art project produced by David Horvitz in late December 2010 and early January 2011. For roughly two weeks, he drove along California's coast from the Mexican border up through the Oregon border. Along the way, he stopped and took pictures of himself looking out at the beach and other scenic vantage points, his stance recalling the iconic romantic painting Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich from 1818 and Bas Jan Ader's 1971 Farewell to Faraway Friends. He then uploaded these photographs to the Wikipedia entries for these locations, adding new images or replacing existent images. This action produced a flurry of discussion amongst the Wikipedia community, as its members tried to figure out his identity and the purpose of the photos. Many of the original photos were cropped or deleted entirely. This post assembles documentation from Public Access. Graphic designer Eric Nylund has created a PDF publication for the project, which includes a text written by Ed Steck. This text and many of the photos taken for Public Access are now on view in the exhibit "As Yet Untitled: Artists and Writers in Collaboration" at SF Camerawork in San Francisco.


A Selection of Photographs that were placed on Wikipedia:
- Border Field State Park. (The fence is the Mexican-American border.) - Silver Strand State Beach. - El Segundo. (The town I grew up in.) - Davenport. - San Francisco. - California's Lost Coast. (The only coast not served by a major highway.) - Pelican State Beach. (The California-Oregon border.)

Various Details from Wikipedia:

"De-subjected" Photographs.
The following photographs were cropped by a Wikipedia user. My body was removed from the photograph, and it was re-uploaded: - A Border Field State Park photograph cropped and re-uploaded. - A Silver Strand State Beach photograph cropped and re-uploaded.

From the Road:
- California map. - Mural in Guadalupe. - California Redwoods. - My mom in Terminal Island standing in place for me. - Friend talking through the Mexican-American border. - Morro Rock Trees. - Davenport Trees. - Elephant Seals. - A green flash at sunset I caught in my camera (NOT PHOTOSHOPPED!) - Friend dials 911 forty-eight times while we were stuck in mud out of cell signal. - Car stuck in mud in an uninhabited part of the Lost Coast. (We had to sleep here.) - A sunset in the Lost Coast. - Rural Mailboxes. - Malibu at night.

Details from the PDF:
This PDF was designed by Eric Nylund. It contains documentation of the project, and a text by Ed Steck.