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Mojave Desert | California

Exploring Southern California's Power Fields

May 2019

Home of the biggest energy field in Southern California, Antelope Valley is a basin at the edge of the Mojave Desert near Los Angeles. Once an ancient lake, it’s now an interconnected network of hundreds of high-capacity power lines criss-crossing overhead, set agains the backdrop of California’s Los Padres National Forest.

It’s a very desolate site, with only a few maintenance buildings breaking the horizon and an occasional car that can be spotted coming from miles away. The towers themselves stand in stark contrast to the flatlands surrounding them, in formation high on the horizon, like ancient monuments to the gods of energy.

This contrast makes walking through the towers is a very reverent, surreal experience, as their scale can only be appreciated at ground level, and the buzz of high-capacity transformers becomes an unsettling chorus that constantly reminds you of the massive amounts of energy being transferred directly overhead.

A popular film location and perhaps best known as the setting for the climax of David Fincher’s 199X film Se7en, it’s a naturally beautiful site that is somehow complimented more by these massive monuments to power.


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