Before touring the old Santa Ana Pueblo a week ago on Thursday morning, again and again
we were reminded that no photography was allowed. Also, no sketches, no
recording of sounds. The rationale for this goes directly to simulacrum
and the sacred: the ground itself and all activities upon it remain contained,
singular, rare. When reproduction and representation are banned, the site does
not suffer from diffusion but instead remains intact. On the tour to
the Zia Pueblo a few years ago, there was
a similar admonition. There, a
sign was posted in front of the church. Something like, "Any recording or
reproduction at this site is punishable by a fine of $3,500."
While on the walking tour, I wondered whether Old Santa Ana can be seen from
above in Google Maps. It’s not far from Albuquerque, after all. At
what resolution has satellite imagery in effect leached the site’s sanctity?
Later, when I checked, I found that indeed the spot is plainly visible from
above; aerial topography, it turns out, has not honored the on-ground policies.
At breakfast the next day, however, I was surprised to find another replica,
this one, a scale-diorama of sorts, in a display case near one of the
restaurants in the Hyatt Tamaya–a resort on the edge of Santa Ana No. 2 (what
is called New Santa Ana, as I understand it). Strangely enough, in this
instance, nothing is posted about copies (or sketches) of the copy: