Saturday, July 31, 2010


Yes China. I am going to China, yes China.

I have a friend who said "Will you come?" And I said yes, definitely, maybe, I don't know, in a completely California way. She sent me a message a few weeks later saying "Why'd you change your mind?"

So I am headed there. Overseas travel is always interesting. China ... from here ... is a bit daunting. First ... It's big. and then they speak Mandarin ... which I can make absolutely no sense of, despite more than a bit of practice. Having no characters in their written language I can recognize doesn't help.

Once I had decided to go, I immediately got a flight, then I had all these little details to work out, the gifts, the visa, changing money, vaccines, figuring out how and what I can bring in and out, converters for my chargers. I felt like a veteran.

My camera. One of the key lenses I use -- the 17-85 mm. It's absolutely done -- failing completely. So I sent it in to Canon to fix. I'll be able to rent a similar lens for my trip. Grumble.

I have booked a flight. I am going to fly to Shenyang in a few days. She is going to meet me. I am a bit nervous. I am packing. I'll be there about 14 days. I think we will return from Beijing ...

Just incidentally that brings my country tally up to 12. 3 continents, 12 countries, 44 states.

China. Yeah!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Artist's Statement For My Show 8/27

In my memory there is a Polaroid photo of a woman in a white dress in the cactus of the Southern California desert, in Joshua tree, in the National Monument..

We take photos of each other with a 15 dollar Polaroid camera as we leave the wilderness, dressed up for our first meal back in civilization.. For 10 days we expose ourselves to the desert. We chase tortoises and phainopepla, and the desert exposes itself to us. We try to see everything. The heat warms us in June, our sweat pools together when our bodies meet. The desert exposes itself to us slowly. Bloody scars from the agave show on our legs. Our skin and lips are dry, parched. Before the photo we bathe nude under the pump at Cottonwood Springs and change into some clean clothes.

Grilled “Coyote,” That's what the menu says today, so I order it. I mean today like last week. We are at Joshua Tree National park to climb and hang out, and again it's June. A crazy-looking old guy asks me if I'm going into the “monument” ... later I find a crazy bead man while setting up top ropes with my friends above the grave of Gram Parsons. It's really hot. We get busted by the ranger for setting up a shower tied to vegetation. We tie it up climber style to a big rock – and laugh.

There's a story in this show about my journey to an intimate American landscape. It's a journey to some great places, sacred places, some very remote and hard to get to, some delightfully special, some sort of everyday. It's a journey to gila monsters and the quiet places of the world. To the bustling inner city paradise. This journey has covered the states – it's been to thunderstorms, to raging rivers, to floods, to find wild berries, and to the homes and camps of great friends and exceptional people.

“I was in another lifetime, one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form
'Come in' she said
'I'll give you shelter from the storm'"