Episode 11, in which destruction contains the seeds of creation.
There's this spot about 30 minutes north of Phoenix that gives access to one of the man-made lakes Arizona uses in an attempt to store water. It's the kind of place my dad used to take us when I was a kid, to camp and fish and enjoy the outdoors. The rule was, always leave the area in better condition than you found it. We used to pack out any trash we saw as well as any that we made.
So I was shocked to see how people abuse the site today. People take everything from coffee cans to coffee tables out into the desert and blow it away with all manner of guns. Then they just leave it there, along with their expended bullets and empty cartridges and shell boxes. The area is a big dry wash, and when it rains, all the water flows into the lake, carrying in every bit of toxic waste left behind.
So the place is a mass of contradiction. The beauty of the Sonoran desert astounds me, and the debris deluge turns my stomach.
You know what an artist has to do with this wealth of material.
We went out and foraged, then had a picnic near the lake, and Joe Willie Smith and I collaborated on a twig sculpture, which will probably be shot to kindling over the weekend. But you can see it here.
May 20, 2007, Update:
This video has been selected to screen at Pixelodeon!