Not including its tributaries, it runs over 50 miles through the heart of a metropolitan area of 10 million people.Yet in a place where water is precious, hardly any of those millions know its history, where it begins or ends, its current function or have ever put even their pinky toes in its water. In fact, the patchwork of governments and agencies that control the river make it almost impossible to access it without trespassing. No other American city has so completely turned its back on such a resource. Most see it as a hideous scar on the landscape; a polluted dystopian highway through the heart of urban darkness. Yet it is also a rich cultural canvas of striking visuals and unlimited potentials. Los Angeles could not have evolved in its current form without the “river,” and it cannot fully thrive without at least its partial restoration.

The images were taken of the LA River and within 100 yards of its “banks” over a 5 year period.

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Mark Indig is a Los Angeles-based feature film line producer, photographer and LMGA Industry Member.