Water system infrastructure and the monuments that commemorate it in California and Mexico are evidence of similarities in their cultures’ water regimes. Mexico’s Lerma Waterworks site argues the importance of reliable water provision for Mexico City’s modern identity. The mid-20th c. architecture and the murals designed by Diego Rivera, entitled “Agua, Origen de la Vida,” narrate the journey of water as it flows continuously from the indigenous past and into the modern present. Along the way, Rivera represents water as bridging distinct locations, cultures, and social classes. This mythic rendering, however, does not account for today’s disparity in water access in the city today.
Monumental Hydraulics: Diego Rivera’s Lerma Waterworks and the water temples of San Francisco
Susan Moffat is project director of the University of California, Berkeley, Global Urban Humanities Initiative. An urban planner and curator, she has worked in journalism, affordable housing, and environmental planning in the United States and Asia. She is currently organizing an arts festival at the Albany Bulb.
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Rafael Tiffany, Susan Moffat; Monumental Hydraulics: Diego Rivera’s Lerma Waterworks and the water temples of San Francisco. Boom 1 September 2016; 6 (3): 40–49. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/boom.2016.6.3.40
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