Deming! Another random town that holds something of interest to me! What is that exactly?? Cabinetlandia! Surprisingly I just found out about this while I was in Salt Lake City a week and half earlier. While staying with my friend Hikmet, whom I mentioned in an earlier post, asked me, "oh your going to visit Cabinetlandia aren't you"? I responded with what is that? After looking into this amazing one of a kind place, I quickly changed my route after I left Marfa and headed to Deming, New Mexico. Deming did not hold much outside of Cabinetlandia, but the motel I stayed at had two lovely older ladies who ran the place, which I ended picking up dinner for and chatting with for awhile. They were a riot!
So Cabinetlandia is a three tiered metal filing cabinet that exists in the desert and has been built into a human built hillside. The filing cabinet houses every issue of the magazine known as Cabinet, which is an artist magazine. The two bottom drawers house an assortment of items that have been left by visitors, whom have made the trip out to the remote location.
Directions to visit Cabinetlandia can be found on their website. Cabinetlandia is located about 20 minutes outside Deming. After traveling east away from Deming, I took a bridge over the highway and then proceeded to take a few left's and rights on random desert roads according to the directions. Along the way I saw some spiders, which I'm deathly afraid of and had to beep my horn at a heard of cows to move out of the road. Here are a few photos of the journey to Cabinetlandia! It was amazing!
Marfa! What can I say.. This small town with a population of roughly 2,000 people was one of my many destinations on my trip, reason being.. Donald Judd.
Donald Judd was an American artist through the latter part of the 20th century, mainly known for being associated with the art movement known as Minimalism. Judd was a maker, writer, theorist, designer, and many more wonderful things. He migrated to Marfa in the early 70's after being exhausted with the New York art scene. Judd had a distinct vision and throughout his life he executed and built that dream in Marfa. After relocating to Marfa he slowly started to purchase and acquire more land. He methodically restored and redesigned the buildings to accommodate his object and furniture. After Judds death the Dia Foundation and Chinati Foundation took over his property and now preserve and run the property full time, allowing visitors from all over the world to visit and experience the life of Donald Judd, as well as the other artists whom have permanent collections within the foundations.
Judd worked in a spacial manner. Each room you enter was carefully considered through the layout and placement of his objects and furniture. As your body navigates through the space you come into contact with objects that methodically exist within the frame of the architecture. The spaces are cohesive and make sense on physical and visual level.
Visitors are not allowed to photograph any of the work! The only photographs that are allowed are of the outdoor cement structures of Judd's. You will just have to visit Marfa to experience the wonders! Okay so now outside of Donald Judd, Marfa also is a town that is just filled with great art, restaurants, buildings and PEOPLE. If one is to visit Marfa get your wave hand ready, because everyone WAVES at you!
After leaving Salt Lake City and before arriving to Santa Fe I stopped along at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah and The Grand Canyon. Both visits were a surreal experience. These canyons are Earthworks within themselves! Naturally occurring beautiful forms! Here are some photos..
While at the Grand Canyon I was hiking down one of the three trails at the South Rim and found a side of the canyon very intriguing. The lines that cut through the stone made for a nice composition. After I took a few photos I suddenly noticed that it reminded me of one my pieces in my BFA show. Maybe thats why I was drawn to it.
So for the past few days I have been camping and have not had internet or much cell reception, which actually was quite nice. Although we all need our fix of technology sooner or later. I went to visit my third earthwork actually right after the Sun Tunnels, but did not have time to post these photos.
The Spiral Jetty was designed and constructed by American artist Robert Smithson in the year 1970. The Earthwork is located on the northeast shore of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, which is roughly 2 and 1/2 hours northwest of Salt Lake City. The work was made using the native basalt rock that runs the land and shore of the lake. The physical attributes of the Jetty are forever changing due to the fluctuating levels of the lake. My dear friend Hikmet, whom i stayed with in Salt Lake City continuously documents the Jetty through her website and has a link to the current lake levels, www.hikmetsidneyloe.com. The Jetty at one point was submerged for 30 years. Due to the lake levels while I was there, the Jetty was not completely visible. Walking in the highly salted lake on the basalt rocks was a calming retreat, but had its moments of uncertainty. Possibly this feeling comes from how one first arrives to the work. The gravel road winds around the shore and as you park and look to the lake you first see the work as a whole (one piece). Approaching the water towards the Jetty that whole breaks down to the water, slat crusted rocks and sand. As you back away from the Jetty and climb the hill that whole becomes present again, but the work changes yet again, adding the view of the shoreline and skyline from afar allows the works to become more of a line drawing within the landscape.
Today was a long day, but a very fulfilling one. I drove from Wendover, UT, which was a town that had slot machines in one of the gas station's to the town of Lucin, UT. Lucin is not your normal town, in the way that there is no town really. I surprisingly saw one vehicle but no buildings. I traveled there to visit the second Earthwork of my trip which is called Sun Tunnels by American artist Nancy Holt. The work is comprised of four large concrete tunnels that have been strategically placed to align themselves with the summer and winter solstices. If I recall Double Negative also had an importance to its placement. The placement of material or in the case of Heizers piece, the removal of material both depends on the structure of line and how one might place and/or navigate themselves within the existing work.
In the case of Holt's work the importance of line falls on the winter and summer solstices. The concrete tunnels are placed within the open land, but the spherical shape allows the viewer to extract a smaller segment of that land, hence whatever the viewer's eyes might frame through the tunnel. The holes that are drilled through the tunnels represent different constellations. As the sun shines and works it's way east to west, the cast light from the holes shifts throughout the day.
Getting to the tunnels by car is fairly easy, provided you have directions. Cell service is dropped quickly after you turn on the road to Lucin. I second guessed myself a few times weather or not I was going the right way. I would turn around then turn back. I said to myself AM I GOING TO FIND THE TUNNELS? Realistically I was going to find them and was just psyching myself out. After the train tracks you take that road a few miles, then take a left on to another unnamed road for 2 miles, which then finally you can see the Tunnels to the east and you take your final right about a mile to earthwork. I had a lot of fun photographing them today.
Today I drove North through Nevada all the way to Utah. What a beautiful state. I was on a one lane highway the entire drive, minus Rt. 15 which cuts through the strip of Vegas. I think the strip makes up most of the population within the state of Nevada. I was able to witness an amazing view of the sky, which had scattered storms throughout my drive. Here are a few photos of the sky and these quite elegant power line structures.
Today I went to experience the Earthwork called Double Negative by artist Michael Heizer. This specific earthwork is located just outside of Overton, NV, which is about 90 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
While steadily holding the steering wheel my car inched its way up the rough terrain of the mountain away from civilization. Heavily breathing, but trying to stay calm, I wondered where exactly this road was leading me? To the right of me was the side of the mountain and to the left was a steep edge. As my car peaked the mountain I was back to flat land and the directions said to pass the cattle gate and continue straight for 3 miles. There were no cattle. I eventually reached the open canyon and turned left at the second cattle gate, now I was driving parallel to the canyon on a highly rough terrain road, that is if I would even call it a road. I worked my way down the road for about two miles and I was there. I parked my car, exited and walked 50 yards to one of the two “cuts” in the land.
Double negative is comprised of two long deep cuts that have been made into the rock at the edge of the canyon. The two cuts are on opposite sides of the canyon, but are strategically place to line up with one another.
I was able to experience the open land in complete solitude and take in the remarkable simplicity of the cuts. Legs slightly shaking from the drive, I took a deep breath and allowed myself to just take in this physical experience, for this is what I had been waiting for. Standing at the edge of the northern cut looking south I grasped the spatial perspective of line. That’s exactly what it comes down to…
Drove from San Diego to Vegas today. I find it strange to view new locations that people reside in from the highway. Quickly passing through a conglomeration of signs and buildings that we see everyday, while a heap of vehicles whiz by. That soon ended as I headed further northeast and slipped back into a desolate and bare highway with the only visual distraction being a rusty broke down trailer here and there. Me, myself and my driving were back to a peaceful state.
So these next series of photos are taken as I approached Nevada. I would see and exit name that intrigued like the name xxyzx. These exits often ended up becoming gravel roads and led me to the middle of nowhere. As i look through the view finder I carefully frame the lines that make up the composition.
So I have begun my trip to the southwest states to visit a series of Earthworks. It starts in Phoenix! Why? Well i needed to rent a car for my trip and to save the most money I need to drop the car off at the same location at the end of my trip to avoid outrageous fees! Also Phoenix seemed to be the city that was right in the middle of the large circular drive that I'm taking. So where first? California!
I"m already making friends with the land!
Ceramicist, artist, traveler. Until the funds run out.