The drought in California is beginning to take it’s toll.
The delicate desert oases and the ecosystems they support that are on the leading edge of this evolving disaster. As groundwater is sucked up to support agribusiness crops these islands in the desert will disappear.
I’m excited to be my Amargosa project be a part of this Creative Underground event at the Blue Whale in Los Angeles along with an amazing line-up of audio and visual artists. Check out the video promo below or better yet come along to the opening! Here’s the blurb:
Creative Underground Los Angeles invites you to join in celebrating it’s one-year anniversary with our third residency night of 2014 at the Blue Whale. Public Secrets / Secret Publics will be a night of collaborations that explore the increasingly blurry line between public and private in modern society.
From WikiLeaks to reality shows; from drone strikes to Bit Coin markets; from Twitter celebrities to NSA spying; from luddite tape labels to high-speed computer stock trading; from the 24/7 news cycle to omnipresent security cameras; from online game worlds to Target’s data mining that can tell when you’re pregnant to send you ads before you know you’re pregnant.
Never before has so much of our private lives been so publicly performed. Never before have the human elements of artistic and cultural life been to severely fragmented and so intimately connected. This night will harness the full potential of CULA’s diverse visions to explore this shadowy, conflicted terrain.
Three sets of new music, with bands led by Alexander Noice, Brian Walsh, Eric Clark and Daniel Rosenboom featuring numerous CULA members and collaborators.
Art show with projects by Lewis Francis, John Hogan, Jason Kunke and Eron Rauch. New digital dance work by Aubre Hill. New poetic works by Laura Bahr. Overture by Jay Gambit (Crowhurst). Doors at 8PM. Opening reception for the art show from 8-9PM. Music, video, dance and readings start at 9PM and continue throughout the night. Cover: $15.
A lot goes into accommodating over the 200,000 that attend the event.
It’s that Grand Prix time of year again here in Long Beach California when the scenic (and green) Marina Green, Rainbow Lagoon and Shoreline Drive go undercover and begin their impersonation of a racetrack for the next few months. Up go grandstands, camera platforms, control towers, temporary bridges and innumerable concrete barriers and crash proof fences. The transformation by race day really is amazing.
Seats with a view opposite the iconic International Tower.
But right now we are at the beginning of the process when the bare and anonymous structures appear out of nowhere and grow by the day. This is my favorite time – before all the sponsorship and advertising is plastered over every possible surface are and the anticipation of what is to come hangs in the air.
I continue to be fascinated by this ritual and every year at this time I wander around the area near my home trying to capture it all.
A (really) long time ago in college I read the book Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water,by Marc Resiner. It struck a chord and has since really influenced how I view Southern California (which I love and have lived in for the last 20 years). I can trace back my fascination with the local deserts to this fascinating book.
My Armagosa, and to a some degree the At Fault, projects can find some of their roots in Cadillac Desert, the continued relevancy of which can now be beyond anyone’s doubt given the extreme drought that California is now facing.
A new project evolved from the others and has taken on a life of it’s own. Oases are scattered around the deserts of California. These fragile sources of water in otherwise barren lands provide sustain life where it could not otherwise exist. The continued drought and the resulting increasing draining of the delicate natural aquifers to support cities, agriculture and industries puts these jewels of the American desert, and the life they support, in danger.
California is full of palm trees, but a few like those 5 Palms Oasis in Anza Borrego are way more significant that the thousands that line the streets of Beverly Hills.
Anza Borrego State Park does not get the attention of the National Parks like Joshua Tree and Death Valley that are relatively close by, and that’s just fine.
It’s only 20% smaller than Joshua Tree and it is easy to lose yourself out there, not only because there are fewer people visiting but also because of the primitive road network that puts even the most remote parts of the vast park within reach.
I have not experienced the pure silence I found in the Carrizo Badlands yesterday for a very, very long time. Not even out in Utah and or New Mexico. There were has always been something like the drone of a plane overhead at the very least to remind me what a crowded planet we live on.
But yesterday there was nothing, just nothing.
I put down my camera and just let it wash over me.
I came across this sign yesterday while working on my “At Fault” series about the San Andreas Fault. The sign sits directly on the fault itself. Hopefully it will not be the year of the Big One. “Hope springs eternal” as they say, so …. Happy New Year!!
The F-Stop Black & White issue is now online featuring Mateusz Sarello and 172 photographers from around the world. A few of my own images are also part of the group exhibition. http://www.fstopmagazine.com/
Last night was the opening reception for the Port of Long Beach Photo Gallery. It was a fun a even the great images of many local photographers being shown. My photograph “Feeding Ruby” placed third.
The whole event was a real pleasure to be a part of. Thanks so much to all the folks at the Port of Long Beach and the Long Beach Arts Council who worked so hard on creating this event. I am sure it can’t have been easy to convince the Port authorities to let a bunch of photographers run amok on a boat in the harbor at night.