September 4th, 2012
I have always found great pleasure in constructing dwellings and structures out of available materials. I remember building little forts in the woods when I would camp as a child, and I also remember turning the living room into a huge maze of blankets and boxes. Over the past several years, I have been researching and exploring many Anasazi and Pueblo cultural ruins, and I am even more fascinated by pre-contact habitation structures. I am interested in the notion of a home, what defines a home, and how much time must be spent in a place to call it a home. The first of several, this is an investigation of place using found natural materials and my own two hands to construct a shelter in which I can comfortably spend nights, sleeping under my "home" for a time.
This first structure is in a primitive lean-to style, constructed with oak and pine branches, then covered with thousands and thousands of pine needles to protect from the rain and wind. I built it the day before we were departing from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, so I only got to spend one night in it, but it was an experience I will not soon forget. I slept better than I had been in my tent. Moonlight shone through little gaps in the pine needles, vaguely illuminating the inside of my home. I thought about the Ancient Ones as I drifted off to sleep, trying to gain a better understanding of their way of life by living off the land, even though my experience was only for a short time. Hopefully, over the course of this interactive project, I can get a better feeling for multiple locations and climates, and better understand how the Ancients would have built dwellings with readily available materials.