Low Tide is an Art and Archive Project by Scott Holmquist assembling and disassembling a comprehensive survey of visual Bay histories for public re-presentation and preservation.


As an act of preservation, this work is against the delusion that everything will be online. It is also an experiment in representational decomposition, dreaming of magical outcomes that reveal, or hint at, an utterly decolonized geography.

Gathering the entirety of published documents began in 2011 and briefly stopped on the last day of 2015, with Wikipedia's entry for the Bay and Cynthia Hooper’s 2015 Bay project website. We started again in 2017. As of September we possess over 100,000 pages, 630 objects and documents.

About thirty public and private offices and libraries around the Bay allowed material to be copied. (See Support.)

Public access to the archive is planned for Fall 2017 in the Low Tide LAB at Bug Press, located in Arcata, CA.

UPDATES – Low Tide Art | Archive on Facebook


See INSTALLATIONS on my website for the Fall 2014 shows. See Exhibits for the first, opened December 2012 in Eureka, CA. Radio interview on the 2014 exhibit – KHSU public radio (Arcata, CA) – here.

Printed thumbnail catalogs made from the archive were first exhibited in 2013. These are to incite new forms of analog indexing designed to complement and secure digital archiving.

Decomposing documents into Image Groups, for instance, Object Exteriors, Black & White/Color Photos, Drawings, Diagrams, Graphs, Tables, Texts, a total of thirteen groups in all, has been central to the work’s goal to test the colonizing function of a geography’s graphic representation.

Why “Low Tide”?

Because at low tide there’s more to see. Like miles-wide glistening expanses of fissured mud and acres of oyster beds and eel grass and mysterious rotting peers. (I originally chose the title for a 2009 collaboration on the Bay with poet Joseph Massey that we soon after folded).




I'm especially grateful for the encouragement and counsel we received at the outset from Edith Butler and Joan Berman, Head Librarians at Humboldt State University Library's Humboldt Room, retired 2012 and 2014 respectively. They've been crucial guides through the vast material on Humboldt Bay.

Thanks to Joe Tyburczy, head of the California Sea Grant Extension, our local institutional sponsor.

Other local support from: Jeffry Hood, Collections Manager at the Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum in Eureka, California; Linda DeLong, Research Manager, Humboldt County Historical Society; Dan Berman, Director of Conservation, Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District; Aldaron Laird, owner, Trinity Associates; Jim Lamport, board member, Ecological Rights Foundation (the parent organization of Humboldt Baykeeper) and the Institute for Sustainable Forestry; Sue Schlosser, advisor, CA Sea Grant; Jerry Simone, club president, Humboldt Bay Rowing Association. John Winzler, founder, Winzler & Kelly Engineering Firm.

Logistics and funding

From 2011 to 2016, individuals and Bug Press, Inc., will have donated in excess of $85,000 (both cash and in-kind). To complete the digitizing phase and organize the archive will cost another $45,000.

We are seeking additional financial and in-kind support.

Materials search

These include, but are not limited to, maps, books, reports, photographs, pamphlets and posters.

These may be copied in place or by us offsite.



Scott Holmquist - Director and designer.

Robert Arena - Project host and sponsor.

Robert is the owner and operator of Bug Press, Inc., which has received numerous awards for excellence in printing, including a Certificate of Merit from Printing Industries of America (2010), a Gold Award from the National Association of Litho Clubs (2010), and Gold, Silver and Bronze awards from the Visual Media Alliance Showcase of Print Design/Excellence (2006, 2007, 2010).

He managed the production of the award-winning book Humboldt Heartland and will oversee production of Low Tide.

Joseph Massey - Writer, editor.

Joseph is author of two books of poetry, Areas of Fog (Shearsman Books, 2009) and At the Point (Shearsman Books, 2011), as well as over a dozen fine press, limited edition chapbooks and broadsides.

Much of his work springs from observations of the Bay.

Carolyn Jones - Project manager.

Carolyn is a lifelong Californian with interests in Mayan hieroglyphic writing, book arts and complex data systems. She has a degree in philosophy and works as a data consultant for non-profit healthcare organizations.

Charlotte Lachmann - Layout production.

Charlotte has worked as an assistant in Scott's Berlin studio since 2011 – completing nearly all layout production for the first archive-index drafts through 2014.

Robin Pagliuco - Start-up project manager 2011.

From 2008-2011, Robin worked as the Managing Director for an Arcata-based radio program, A World of Possibilities, carried on over 1000 stations nationwide and internationally.

About Scott Holmquist (website)

Scott is a writer and artist who lived from 2007-10 in Humboldt County where, working with Robert Arena and Joseph Massey, among many others, he produced the chronic freedom series of books concerned with Southern Humboldt cannabis life.

The series is recognized as ground breaking by local authorities on SoHum history, such as writer Ray Raphael, state history; Steven Black, Head of the Acquisitions Division at UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library; and nationally by Mark Dimunation, Chief of the US Library of Congress’s Rare Book and Special Collections Division.


Design - Scott Holmquist launched 2011
(after Andrew Persoff's 2012 "Kulturpark" website, no longer up.)

Production/Programming 1st version 2011 - Fox Hysen.




Low Tide Archive c/o
Humboldt Area Peoples Archive
PO Box 632

Bayside, CA 95524

f creative commons