My last two trips I have been keeping a visual travel journal, (That I post to my instagram highlights) with photos mostly taken with my phone. I find that it helps me think about how I want to approach the space and the people within it and when using a phone, especially when I first get to a new location I find that it is less intrusive and a little more discrete.
Full WIP gallery can be found here.
This past week I have been doing a lot of reflecting on my project and how I want to approach it, and what I really want from it.
The idea of High Desert came about after the reduction of Bears Ears National Monument, and all that has been happening with the North Dakota pipeline in 2015/2016 and in genal our disregard not only for climate change but also the cultures and communities that have lived on the land long before the demand for the earth's resources.
I was invited to contribute to 85for85 to help raise money to fund The Wilderness Society lawsuit to fight this administration's illegal step to reduce Bears Ears, for the first edition, and the second edition money was raised and donated to the newly opened Bears Ears Education Center in Bluff, Utah.
After that, I wanted to continue to work on projects that would highlight the land and the people within in it. The people that are reimaging how we Build on and use the land while encouraging and educating others to do the same.
A new location of interest: Paradise Valley, Arizona - The location of Arcosanti, where since the 1970s has been an arcology prototype and I feel that is very relevant and a productive environment that very much reflects the statement above. I hope to explore how this has made an impact on the area and the people that live there.
“The problem I am confronting is the present design of cities only a few stories high, stretching outward in unwieldy sprawl for miles. As a result, they literally transform the earth, turn farms into parking lots, wasting enormous amounts of time and energy transporting people, goods, & services over their expanses. My solution is urban implosion rather than explosion.” –Paolo Soleri, 1977
After my first trip out to Twentynine Palms, CA I left feeling inspired by the land and the people I met while I was there. It helped me see the reality of the romanticized lifestyle and landscape that is the essence of the High Desert and life in the American West.
My observations and thoughts about my trip that I want to be present in my project
The high desert brings people together.
The high desert is about opening up to an inventive and creative life that gives back to the community and land.
It’s a vast and expansive environment, which makes you feel that there is endless potential and adventure waiting.
My main focus will be to continue to develop this project and concentrate on how people used the land in the past to how they are building a life in high desert areas now. I will explore how individuals and communities have reclaimed and repurposed the structures and the land its self.
Will be exploring the world Arcology.
I also made a trip to Blue Mesa Reservoir, and after spending a few days there I came to realise that this location will not be a good fit for this project. Though the location is convenient, it would be harder to connect with communities in the area for this specific project.