Friday, Oct. 18: Belen, NM


AZ and I have a quick breakfast at the El Rancho Hotel restaurant with Brad and Pilar.  Pilar is thinking about moving to LA from NY. 


AZ, Brad, and Aurora and I separate so we can cover all the HDTS events today.  AZ and I leave early for Albuquerque, so we hit up the animal shelter too. 

385 After breakfast, Brooks, Brad, and Aurora headed to Bluewater Lake State Park for Kurt Brethauer's "Smooth Operator" van and then to El Malpais National Monument for Michael Iauch's performance piece "Cover Songs."  Iauch re-told his experiences about hitchhiking from North Carolina to California with the aid of blankets painted with classic song lyrics that helped him get rides.  According to Brad, Iauch was a captivating story teller, playing the music from the lyrics on his blankets in the background, while re-telling his hitchhiking experiences as he dangerously hopped around an ancient lava pit, evoking the same feelings of danger, freedom, and uncertainty that he encountered on his adventure.







I find my dog “Mari Jain”, a 6 year old german shepherd mix surrendered by her family who could not afford the pet deposit in their new apartment.  I knew Mari Jain was the right dog for me because instead of flipping out, she calmly offered me a ball as I walked by her kennel.  So with new dog in tow, I meet up with AZ and Aurora in Belen, New Mexico for Courtney Prokopas & Kera MacKenzie’s piece “Wonder Machine” and Joseph Herring’s piece “High Desert Mink Hole.” 

AZ, Leah and Lilly (HDTS Interns), Lars Fisk (VW bus/ Public Storage guy), his girlfriend Willie, and I meet up with Prokopas and MacKenzie at the Conoco Gas station so we can all caravan to the location that Prokopas had actually purchased for a dollar sight unseen.  Prokopas also said this was only the second time she had actually stayed at her property. 



We set off and ended up off-roading, driving through bumpy terrain and tall grass to get to the just under an acre parcel.  When we got there, the “High Desert Mink Hole” performance went on first and it was insane.  An unseen narrator would call out each scene or “movement” while the performers in blue jeans and giant papier mache hybrid animal/insect/plant heads walked around or climbed on top of raised platforms, and repeated the names of their futuristic creature while enacting mating rituals with papier mache strap-ons!  I loved it.  Mari Jain took a poop in the darkness and the performers accidentally stepped in it.  Then I loved it even more.  Please read the description of this incredible piece on our website or in the HDTS 2013 publication for a better understanding, I will do the same. 



“Wonder Machine” was a giant zoetrope that stood more than 6 feet tall.  MacKenzie spun the machine and as it rotated up and down the pole you could view, what I think was a glass of water slowly emptying, or maybe it was a crystal catching the light, I don’t know exactly but it was really cool.  MacKenzie said that the wind had blown the zoetrope machine down a couple times, so they had to spend a lot of time reinforcing the base.  The physical structure was impressively constructed and totally worked. 

The artists were very friendly and passed out cups of hot whiskey and chili.  Aurora stuck around to party a bit more while AZ and I left to find a hotel nearby.  We found a Holiday Inn Express and snuck in our “service” dogs.