The winds are starting to pick up out here at the ranch as well as winds of change...No thats corny let me start again... I promise not to mention dogs, cows, or James... Er um almost did. Alright folks, this one is for real. Easter, or Ishtar is a time of re-birth and renewal...Oh Jeezus.
When you already live away from it all where do you go to get away from it all?
Slab City! Specifically East Jesus. East Jesus is an experimental, habitable, extensible artwork in progress in the desert started in 2006 by our friend the late Charles Russell. Jana and I have been a few times since 2009 and we hadn't seen the recent changes since before Charlie passed away in 2011. It was definitely sad without the Mayor, but it was really inspiring to see how his friends have kept EJ going despite the harsh summers and the constant threat of tweeker bandits that would pick the place clean if given the chance. Not only was it safe and sound, but it is flourishing. There are several new structures and sculptures and a lot of ingenius additions to the existing artwork and grounds. The new caretaker or sheriff (sounds like a better title) Frank is one of the most considerate and welcoming people I have ever met. ...And on the subject of renewal...There was a cat named Satan that just had kittens right before we got there.
|Satan protecting her spawn. Photo ©Jana Davis.|
|So usually by the time we get there all the good suites are taken or reserved. We planned on arriving around mid-night and to set up our tent in the dark as usual. I met Frank on facebook and we became instant comrades because we share another friend that has passed on. Morgan Strub aka Salman the creator of digihitch. So we were surprised and grateful that Frank, having never met us in person, offered us a suite in the hitchhiker camp! Thats our personal trailer. It used to be Franks camp before he took over EJ. Photo ©Jana Davis.|
Frank, Bob, and I. Frank put hitchhiking into perspective pretty simply. He said he was in Alaska somewhere and he really wanted a Philly cheese steak. So he put his thumb out and went to Philly. Photo ©Jana Davis.
|The Tower of Barbarella. Royce organized an "Art Slam" to have folks create panels of art created out of cool junk to attach to the temple. Each team had one hour to dig through piles of hand picked junk and attach it however possible to a panel. At the end of the weekend they would be mounted somewhere on the tower. It is a race against time, but everyone involved is a winner. No judgement at EJ.|
|From the team of Jana, Solar Bob, and Myself, I present our piece titled Headboard. It was a frantic frenzy of screws, glue, and paint, but we finished in time and were happy with the results.|
|Decorating the Tower. Photo ©Larry Woodson.|
Often times people will donate cool junk to EJ. Charlie got a call that from a guy that had "some" duck decoys to donate. He showed up with a truckload. Photo ©Jana Davis.
|The Duck pond.|
|Frank: "When you have arms like that you ain't carrying shit. Thats why she has him."|
|My brother Steve made this for the Tower a few years back. Somehow it ended up in this basket near the kitchen.|
|Fame Retardant, 2011 Found wood, metal, and paint. By Ben Wolf and Heidi Tullman. Photo ©Jana Davis.|
|The whole place is made up of found objects. There are little sculptures nestled in spots so that every turn is a discovery. Photo ©Jana Davis|
|I dont know what this one is called or who its by. It looks like he crash landed here without much hope of getting back off the ground.|
|With intention even a pile of glass becomes art.|
|That's what she said.|
|The Transit Antenna bus! These guys really did crash land here. So they left the bus and it got buried at an angle. All of the furniture inside has been leveled to make it a master suite complete with shower. The bed is at the end of the bus so after a long night of "whatever" you can just let gravity roll you down to the bed.|
|A Wizard's house. Created by Habitat for Insanity (actually Joe Holiday). The Wizard Mopar lives there.|
|Mopar appreciating the new art on the Tower.|
|A shot of the sculpture garden. One of my favorite abstract junk sculptures.|
|He's flat chested. Get it? Oh I slay me.|
|East Jesus circa 1918. Mopar, Bob, and Marty. Photo ©Royce Carlson.|
|Photo ©Jana Davis|
|A tribute to Charlie. Mayor of East Jesus.|
|Charlie' music room in the daylight. His photo is there on the piano.|
|On certain Sundays The Church of the Chocolate Martini gathers in honor of Charles Russell.|
Jana at the Clothing optional shooting Range.
|I'm about to shoot a musket for the first time. Photo ©Jana Davis|
Video by Jana Davis.
|Channeling Hunter Thompson. Photo ©Jana Davis|
|Near the Slabs and Salton Sea is an area where there is thermal activity that creates these mud pots. As you get close you hear comical blooping sounds coming from the bowels of the earth.|
|On the way home from EJ Jana suggested that we drive through Joshua Tree National Park. We did. It was awesome.|
|Using my macro lens for the iphone I got this cool shot of caterpillars. There are strange colonies of them in silky nests in low bushes.|
|This is Jana and her Jana sign.|
|4 years later at the fourth annual Bunny Rampage!!!|
|This costume cost me $1.50. I got the bunny at Savers and I stole my brothers funky suit from the closet at my moms while I was in Phoenix. I was surprised it fit. He's a slim dude.|
Bunny instigator John aka Hot Candy on the right and David looking ready to hop to it.
|My new temporary studio at the ranch while the straw bale studio gets revamped. I've got 2 paintings going that need to get shipped to Chicago on Friday. Details to come in the next blog post.|
Thanks again for checking out my humble little blog. Assalamu alaikum.