THE ELECTRIC DESERT 3.0, 2018

an installation exhibition 

@Harwood Art Center, downstairs gallery, Albuquerque

While I fashioned the Electric Desert from clear, simple, discreet shapes — triangles and tubes, flowers and nopales — they were congregated in such profusion, and in such a small space, that they surrounded and overwhelmed the viewer, transforming us into participants. In what was to be the project’s final iteration, my collaboration with engineer Arne Gullerud took another step vital to the Electric Desert as an immersive environment. Arne programmed a string of LEDs to create a twelve-minute day and night cycle. During the “day,” the black lights inside the project’s cardboard tubes seemed quiet. During the “night,” they appeared to increase in intensity, shifting the project’s simple palette. 

My hope was to ask the kinds of questions that I hear in the high desert. Questions about the false dichotomies between “nature” and “artifice,” “sentient” and “inert,” “childhood” and “adulthood.” I hoped the Electric Desert would give rise to these questions gently, but insistently--just as the desert does.

THE ELECTRIC DESERT 2.0, 2018

a temporary installation 

@Harwood Art Center, upstairs gallery, Albuquerque

The Electric Desert immerses participants in a nighttime desert environment comprised of artificial Southwestern border flora -- pinon, cholla, nopales -- modularly built from reclaimed/recycled materials. Each piñon sculpture is 10’ tall, with squiggling "ocotillo" reaching up to 7’ high. Every element of the Desert is painted, with black and white graffiti-marker drawings interrupting odd color harmonies. The drawings are comic book approximations of their subjects, as if participants are walking through their imaginations. The scene is lit with shifting lights that bask the proceedings in an ‘80s nightclub vibe. This fluorescent nightscape of glittering cacti and flitting ghosts invites visitors to play with, build with, and sing with simple robotic constructs that gently open complex questions about the land and peoples of our Southwestern borders. 

THE ELECTRIC DESERT 1.0, 2018

an exhibition installation 

@Tortuga Gallery, Albuquerque

The Electric Desert immerses participants in a nighttime desert environment comprised of artificial Southwestern border flora -- pinon, cholla, nopales -- modularly built from reclaimed/recycled materials. Each piñon sculpture is 10’ tall, with squiggling "ocotillo" reaching up to 7’ high. Every element of the Desert is painted, with black and white graffiti-marker drawings interrupting odd color harmonies. The drawings are comic book approximations of their subjects, as if participants are walking through their imaginations. The scene is lit with shifting lights that bask the proceedings in an ‘80s nightclub vibe. This fluorescent nightscape of glittering cacti and flitting ghosts invites visitors to play with, build with, and sing with simple robotic constructs that gently open complex questions about the land and peoples of our Southwestern borders.