For years I’ve been eyeing this head turner – a big pink building (turns out it is a former post office) – uncharacteristically stylish for its Wonder Valley digs. Why this remote and sparsely section of the desert would need such a huge and fancy post office is still a bit of a mystery – as is the reason for its decommission.
A few years ago my interest ramped up even more when pyramids and a big dome appeared scattered around the grounds. And on Sunday I finally got an up-close viewing by owners Philip and Margot who are going to open up the building and grounds as part of the HDTS driving map (the building will be open on the first Saturday of every month).
The inside of the building is even more astounding than the outside, but since the power was out I didn’t try to take photos – discovering the interior wonderment should be considered further enticement to curiosity seekers considering the trek out to Wonder Valley.
Lemons, Land ownership, and Licenses…. was the heading of Jena’s first entry in the HQ’s log. She also noted that we had seventeen visitors, made two sales and received the following: a $10 donation, a cookie and a bag of lemons. Not a bad day for the “slow season” in downtown Joshua Tree.
About two and a half years ago we started a 499 square foot addition on the house. (If you add more then 500 square feet you have to bring the entire structure up to code -and as it turns out over half of my 800 square foot cabin had been built illegally with no permits) At first the structure went really quickly – but since then it has taken years to finish all of the details. Today Danny Simpson re-stuccoed the back and side of the house which were riddled with at least ten different patch jobs. Next we finish the outdoor kitchen (coming soon) and finally there will be an outside sleeping deck on top of the area that Danny is working on in this photo.
The HDTS Headquarters is finally going to be open this weekend! Jena has volunteered to come out from Los Angeles and HQ sit – and I’m putting the finishing touches on the driving map as I post this. Plus we have new stuff to peddle including a bitchin stained glass window by Steve Halterman (in background) and cool bronze necklaces by Wells Pollock (being modeled in the foreground by Thomas).
For more info on HDTS visit the website. If you are local and are able to help sit the space on weekends email us – we need you!
This show that opened June 10th is being posted in July because June was a crazy bad-ass month. Not only was there a mini survey show at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence and a large new project at the IMA in Indianapolis – but we also hung a solo show at Sadie Coles HQ in London. It is hard to chose a single representative image of this show – but here is a shot at it. I liked this body of work because it was all about representation and experience which is something that I’ve been struggling with in my work forever.
And there was a video. I mean a real video-video (not a powerpoint style video), which is sort of a first. Each show I try to make one work that scares the shit out of me (generally something that might be doomed to fail) This time that work was a video called “Clutch” – thanks to the superb cinematography of Giovanni Jance I think it actually worked.
I heart Mike and Jessica. They are resilient, funny, articulate and seem to have an endless cadre of friends bringing them picnics while they live on the Island.
The way it works is this: For the last two years we have been working on Indy Island for the IMA’s new art and nature park: 100 Acres. (The island was made by Barnacle Brothers – a fabrication outfit in LA who totally rock). Each year the IMA will invite one or two residents to live on the island and to interface with the public, sort of like park rangers. Or maybe docents.
This year island residents Mike and Jessica who are doing a project called “Give and Take”. When a flag is raised on the island they will row ashore to pick up visitors who want to tour the island (there is a bell on shore that people ring when they want to come out) Visitors can also send them messages in floating island-like pods, and they have what they call “island trade” where people can bring them things and make trades in the process. And while doing all of this they manage to maintain a pretty detailed blog.
And to top it off there is a bicycle generator for energy and floating gardens in an attempt for self sufficiency. Genius.
A few years ago I made a big carved Raugh desk in the middle of the living room – and in the process learned that two-year old toddlers not only regurgitate on foam, but also love to chew it (go figure) and also that mouse pee melts little craters in it. I loved the foam but the foam didn’t love us. Or at least it didn’t love our desert lifestyle. This week we are prototyping a new setup of a smoothly sanded walnut frame with a plush raugh foam interior… the potential seems limitless.