Posts from the “Travel” Category

The Lightning Field, Part 2

Posted on May 28, 2017

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Click here for Part 1. “Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary.” -Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire We make the cabin our true home for the night, supplementing dinner with what we’ve brought to share – salad, sauce, drinks, conversation, perspectives, music, connections, and paths. In darkness we find ourselves lying in the field watching the light parade of stars, jetliners, and cigarettes before we scatter for bed. Sunrise brings another golden hour, a quick breakfast, and multiple last looks at the field before our ride arrives on schedule but all-too-early at 11am. Returning to our cars in Quemado, we exchange contact information and best wishes for…

The Lightning Field, Part 1

Posted on May 26, 2017

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Visiting Walter De Maria’s The Lightning Field is like going to an event. You might know the framework, but you can’t predict the exact experience. So after some fortunate advance planning (I read about visitors waiting 10+ years for schedules to align) and a journey into Western New Mexico, I stand with my main art friend and four other overnight visitors in an isolated cabin next to a grid of 400 polished stainless steel poles. A simple framework. We congregate on the back porch of the cabin. Clear skies, no lightning expected. In the washed-out afternoon light the poles blend into the high desert landscape. Wind comes and goes, loud then silent. Rabbits scurry from beneath the cabin, a few cows stroll in the distance. Without connectivity to the outside world,…

Double Negative

Posted on April 16, 2017

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In 1969, artist Michael Heizer began displacing 240,000 tons of rock in a Nevada mesa. Dynamiting two facing trenches across a canyon, he cut downward into the earth, contrasting both the canyon ridge and physical art structures built upward into the sky. When he finished in 1970, he left behind negative space in the landscape and one of his first monumental earthworks: Double Negative. Nearly fifty years later I wait alone in the darkness above the mesa, listening to the wind and watching for sunrise. As dawn breaks over the desert, I hike into the North cut and toward the Virgin River below. Sometimes it’s not what you add, it’s what you strip away. “There is nothing there, yet it is still a sculpture.” –Michael Heizer *

Seven Magic Mountains

Posted on April 7, 2017

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As Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains appears in the distance, you may have to resist the urge to accelerate down Las Vegas Boulevard to reach it more quickly. The shapes and colors draw you in, and after all, it’s only scheduled to be on display until 2018. Better hurry. It’s also a great lesson in planned obsolescence. The life cycle of the piece has been considered, which seems all too rare in our trash-generating society. Go beyond concept-design-installation. It helps to think end-to-end. *