Terminal Lake Exploration Platform 2019
Steve Badgett and Chris Taylor
Mecca, California, USA
Desert X 2019

The Terminal Lake Exploration Platform (TLEP) was designed and built to explore the liminal fringe between the inundated and the desiccated waterways of the desert southwest. The platform brought a variety of user-residents face to face with these environments to absorb and study these unique, isolated, and altered bodies of water in ways that are rarely experienced.
The TLEP’s modular design maximizes deployability in inhospitable conditions and inaccessible bodies of water, functioning as a floating laboratory, with necessary life support and research infrastructure to assist in exploration of these unusual aquatic environments. TLEP was first employed to explore the south half of Great Salt Lake in 2016 and later the north half in 2018.  In 2019 it was part of southern California's Desert X exhibition, exploring the Salton Sea for three months. TLEP looks at these particular types of lakes precisely because they contain exceptional environmental traces, and display signs of decades of human intervention. TLEP allows for re-exploration and observation of these often disregarded and stressed ecosystems.