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November 05, 2018

Desert Time. Scenes From a Lapsed Blogger

Flyer for "Lost," Anonymous was a Vlog, 2018

Video Still, "Cloaked," Anonymous was a Vlog, 2018

Video Still, "Nature Girl," Anonymous was a Vlog, 2018

Desert Time. It's a real thing. I believe it means something along the lines of, "eventually." Since moving out of LA, I've been told on more than one occasion I'm "so professional." Usually this would be a complement, possibly even a side-effect of being in a career which requires one to be able to show up, make work and deliver shit by certain dates without being a total spaz. But hey, it's 2018 and enough of you sat the 2016 election out, and by sitting that out, I mean, "but her emails"— that I'm constantly negotiating what constitutes a sense of professionalism these days. Before Desert Time, there was The Slower Pace of the South.

I'm learning to unwind a little out here, but not really. This summer was unbearably hot. As a result of not being able to lift a finger for fear of heat exhaustion and outright lethargy, I began a vlog. Vlogging has been on my bucket list for a while. It's a rabbit hole of research for sure, but after having a conversation with an artist friend, I was inspired, and thus the first episode dropped mid-summer, July 5th, I believe. I only say 'dropped' becuase all the hipsters say dropped. What really happened was that I uploaded a low-res .mp4 to my YouTube account, mahvideo1000. The account name was inspired by Ursala 1000 back in the late 90s. File under Geek101.

The goal was and still is 52 episodes.  I'm not making the weekly quota, but as the Celestial Deity of Video Art and DIY Video Tutorials as my witness,  I'll get those 52 episodes done by next summer-ish. I'm at 12 eps now. September and October were a bit of a wash. I took on some freelance work—priorities and all.

Link to the current playlist here. And remember. they're low-res downloads because nothing in life is totally free.

I'll be reporting back with some upcoming shows and news for 2019. It's slow, but I have been productive.





May 15, 2018

Accountability.

I swear I thought I'd get back to blogging on a regular basis. Alas, no. Meanwhile here's a rundown of what's been happening. I almost wrote, "haps" but I'd have to put on a black beret and snap my fingers while writing and that's just too much, man, too much.

I made it through an entire winter depending on a wood burning stove for heat. Because I often take on a scarcity mentality, I have enough wood to last through the Apocalypse. My holtzhausen I was so proud of building has become a birthing unit and luxury high-rise for desert rats and squirrels. The only way to remedy this is to tear it down and reconstruct it. As I write this, the tiniest little baby squirrel is dining on one of my agaves.
Time needed: 1 full day
Skill Level: moderate
Enthusiasm: meh

I bought ten native plants from the Mojave Desert Land Trust. Three survived. I call this a success. My friend, Kate and her brother were passing through over the winter and brought with them some fig offshoot. Her brother planted 3 fig saplings. They looked like twigs, but I call them saplings. One survived and is currently in a primitive cage I built to protect it from the squirrels. It will grow up feeling isolated, but very special.

I've been lax on building necessary storage space for things most people put in their garage. Doesn't everyone have a storage tree?

I'm happy to report that the Ground Nests I built as part of the Archeology Project have withstood winds up to 45-50 mph.

Work from the paint studio has been slow but steady. The work continues to focus on place, only now here in the Mojave Desert. Rocks still show up in the work, as do plants and micro-bits of the terrain and artifacts that resurface after the winds and rain. I made the observation last week that there are more shades of green here than back east. Prickly Pear, Barrel Cacti, Agave, Palo Verdes, Mexican Birds of Paradise, Creosote, Lavender, Rosemary, Alepo Pines, Joshua Trees, of course, Yucca, Cholla, some wildflowers and numerous other plants I haven't learnt the names of. All green.

I've been making videos documenting ordinary routines of homesteading life, mixed in with some video meditations on life here in the desert.

Update: After spotting the third squirrel enter the holtzhausen condo today, I tore it down and have begun rebuilding it.  I was going to leave an opening but structurally that's a no-go.

My desertversary approaches....

November 11, 2017

THE ARCHEOLOGY TAPES 1: WHAT DIRECTION SHOULD YOU FACE A BUDDHA?


THE ARCHEOLOGY TAPES 1: WHAT DIRECTION SHOULD YOU FACE A BUDDHA? 2017,
HDV, 3:03 min. color, sound.

THE ARCHEOLOGY TAPES 1: WHAT DIRECTION SHOULD YOU FACE A BUDDHA? takes place on a parcel of land in the Mojave Desert, where over time, past residents had used the property as a private landfill for both household and green waste. Using both collected and constructed footage, the video blends fact with fiction to create a poetic narrative about a modern-day homesteader in the process of building a large nest and bioswale out of the yard debris left behind. THE ARCHEOLOGY TAPES series continues my investigation into domestic space, the everyday, and the absurd, while leaving behind in real life, a site-specific environmental arts piece that will facilitate land rehabilitation in the damaged area. 

October 09, 2017

Oct 9, 2017.





Test shots of Ground Nest in progress. The area behind my house was used as a dumping ground for burning dead pines and oleander, along with detritus left behind by owners, past. I’m working on a rehabilitating the areas that were scorched and composting into sculptural habitats for desert creatures. There’s also the amateur archeological aspect to the project as I catalog the household items I find buried and scattered on the ground. 

October 02, 2017

OCTOBER 2, 2017

OCTOBER 2, 2017
Before we found out about Las Vegas, before we found out about Tom Petty, it was just another day.

Desert Housekeeping, PB&J Detail, video, 2017


Giant Rock (Screen Test 1, Agnes), video, 2017

September 23, 2017

Russian Roulette


She avoided doing the repair because dark, cramped spaces reminded her of the four years she lived in a cave and ate scorpions while waiting for the new regime—but then she got an estimate from a licensed contractor and put on a pot of Oleander tea. 

September 19, 2017

Tales From the Dump: Casual Friday


Casual Friday was his favorite day of the week but the summer had been stressful for us both. He took a long inhale and said he was taking off again- didn't know where or how long. As he exhaled he smiled and blew a ring of smoke in my face. I picked up my Heineken and took the last sip. No need to let good beer go to waste. They never found his other shoe.  

September 14, 2017

Tales From The Dump: The Man in the Blue Polo


Pretend like you're holding an invisible knife, I said. Otherwise it looks like you're fidgeting with your bandana.  A few days later I found his vision board in the garbage along with a receipt from SkyMall and an ode to polo shirts he had written the summer we first met. It was a doomed relationship from the start. 

September 13, 2017

SEPTEMBER 2017


Mary Addison Hackett, Concrete Jetty (after Robert Smithson), installed at Jemez Homestead, Flamingo Heights, JOSHUA TREE, California,  summer, 2017. Photo by Sierra Delgado.

While watering plants at Jemez Homestead, I discovered pieces of broken concrete strewn about. Spiral Jetty came to mind and I spent some time imposing my sense of order. "Jetty" from the French word, jetée, meaning "thrown," signifies something thrown out. The lack of a local body of water, did not deter me. 
Mary Addison Hackett, Concrete Jetty (after Robert Smithson), installed at Jemez Homestead, Flamingo Heights, JOSHUA TREE, California,  summer, 2017. Photo by Sierra Delgado.

September 11, 2017

Desert Nights


When I was a kid I asked my mom whether she liked day or night the best. She said night. Being around 5 years old, the full spectrum of nighttime was over my head but it struck me as an adult answer, full of mystery and a little dangerous. Every time I pull in my desert driveway late at night, I feel like I'm in a David Lynch film.