At our most previously visited site, Valle De Oro National Wildlife Refuge, the Land Arts Crew lived closely in alfalfa fields. We decided on working on a collaborative project which taught us much about each other. Taught us in regards to each other’s work habits and modes of engagement with others, switching from individuals into a collective thought. A fun process!
Anyways, this changed our daily process of exploration that we developed at other sites i.e. the Gila Wilderness, and Elephant Butte on that trip. Alone time can be crucial for recharging energy spent working in sync with others and can also be essential for giving space to the ideas that are asking to emerge. I’m sure we all felt this shift.
Valle De Oro, formerly known as Valley Gold, was the former site of a milk distributor. What remains of that era is a lonely but sturdy concrete structure. Geometrically sound and beautifully symmetrical, this building could be an aircraft hangar. The dirt floors inside are evenly lit by holy squares of light running down the center of the buildings length. However, in the back there is an isolated metal dome that seems to have held liquid at one point. The acoustics it resonated caught my attention when a rock tumbled across its opening.
I made several trips to it whenever time allowed and recorded some of whatever happened there. It’s hard to convey the space. A thin band of light circled the space from supine flashlights and glowed faintly at the top 50ft above our heads. Dust, however old, hung heavily in the silver dome, whose metal had been warmed by the day. Without revolving stars nor our phones, time smacked us in the face mad it had been left behind once we returned to the night sky.
Thanks to a detuned guitar, and the lovely voice of Tara Marshall-Tierney who shaped the atmosphere in that strange space.