Earthwork Doubles As Recreational Amenity

July 9, 2012  |   Feature,   World
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Located in the barren desert near Joshua Tree National Park, 15 miles from the nearest human settlement, Yucca Crater, a temporary earthwork, doubled as a recreational amenity during High Desert Test Sites on October 15 & 16, 2011.

High Desert Test Sites produce physical and conceptual spaces for art exploring the intersections between contemporary art and life at large.

After the event, Yucca Crater was abandoned to the entropic forces of the landscape.

The work resembles a basin that stands 30 feet from rim to low point and is depressed 10 feet into the earth. Rock climbing holds mounted on the interior allow visitors to descend into a deep pool of salt water.

Yucca Crater expands on concepts borrowed from land art, incorporating the prospect of the abandoned suburban swimming pools and ramshackle homestead dwellings scattered across the Mojave.

Ball Nogues have re-imagined these interventions in the landscape through a method of production where the tools of fabrication transform to be become objects for display in their own right.

The rough plywood structure of Yucca Crater was originally the formwork used to construct another Ball-Nogues work, Talus Dome, in which more than 900 boulder-sized polished metal spheres were assembled to appear as a monumental pile of gravel. The two projects were “cross-designed” such that the method of production used in the first (Talus Dome) has become the central aesthetic for the second (Yucca Crater).

This approach integrates concept, aesthetics, a social event and production, inviting viewers to reconsider their relationship to art by-products while repositioning them within an alternative economic and geographic domain.

This project was made possible with the support of United States Artists Projects.

Ball-Nogues Studio is an integrated design and fabrication practice operating in the territory between architecture, art, and industrial design. Essential to each project is the “design” of the production process itself.

Although Ball-Nogues projects are experimental with respect to production, they are far more than prototypes; each directly addresses human occupation by enhancing and celebrating social interaction through sensation, spectacle and physical engagement.

Check out Ball-Nogues Studio