ameia smith

bushy dell creek

09.08.23 | piedmont park - downtown oakland - lake merritt

a sign along the water in piedmont park reads “bushy dell creek is a shadow of its former self,” and in walking along the culverts and asphalt maybe this rings true. from piedmont into downtown oakland bushy dell creek lives underground, until finally it falls into lake merritt. 

in this soundwalk, i use reoccurring sonic markers to note shifts in my focus: when and where my attention is pulled from the creek, whether it’s through conversation or through signs of urbanization. only at the beginning and end is the creek most clearly audible - but still, the creek was the guide in our soundwalk today. but what does it mean to follow an invisible creek?

the plans of our cities are mirrors of our values. perhaps the control of the flow of water, as the source of all life, says something of the control of life in urban geographies, of what life is valued and where. what might the water tell us if we could just listen? what does it mean to listen for the creek, to give it such love and attention, even when it exceeds the scope of our vision? 

slow down. listen to this soundwalk as you would a song. can you hear the chorus of the creek? can you hear the water catch a rhythm? 

pinole creek

09.29.23 | pinole creek trail - old town pinole - pinole wastewater treatment plant

- effects of damming and water redirecting
- desolate places
- the creek has life, listening for the creek and the way it connects things even when it’s “not there”
- the creek could never not be there
- land remembers, garlic and grass and pesticides

lobos creek / clement st

10.13.23 | richmond district - the presidio - baker beach

- making meaning and marking time
- creek connects to the ocean
-following the creek helps you see the connection between different things and different places
- not just there to make you feel better/ the creek is the ocean and the soil and the plants, always full of meaning and always a mirror. 
- being able to see yourself reflected in the place you are in. affirmations that you are here ,even in transience, even when there’s ripples. grounding through discomfort, the creek as refuge. happy fall. 
- though you can’t hear it, the creek runs through this soundwalk

the garden,

aka the Land of Disturbance and Defiance
aka the Small and Infinite Garden
aka Not Done Yet

11.10.23 and 11.17.23 | A.G.A.V.E Collective manifesto meeting, walnut x virgina st

- strawberry creek runs through here. underground but somehow still running wild.
- listening as love and soundwalking as intimacy
- energetic centers and spirals
- altar as a portal