A Vast Furniture
Carmen Argote
two-part installation at the schindler house and iron age road

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Part one: Installation at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House in West Hollywood
April 17 – May 17, 2015

Part two: Installation at High Desert Test Sites in Wonder Valley
May 23 – June 20, 2015


High Desert Test Sites and the Mak Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House present A Vast Furniture, an installation by Carmen Argote.  With one sculpture and two sites, Los Angeles-based artist Carmen Argote uses the floor plan of the Schindler House as an inspiration and guide to literalize the understanding of architectural space as delineated and distinguished from non-architected space.

Part one, at the Schindler House in West Hollywood, features a 1:1 sculptural tracing of the footprint of the house’s indoor and outdoor rooms. Argote materializes the simple line-drawing action that gave shape to the house’s determining features back in 1921, when fresh memories of time in Yosemite National Park led the architect to produce what he conceived of as a permanent campsite. In the waning days of pastureland surrounding Kings Road, the Schindlers staked claim to both a plot and a lifestyle, with every gesture after the floor plan further rooting their bohemian ideals to a 100 by 200 foot lot as the city grew around them.

Public programming during Part one refers to these early decisions by the Schindlers, and will explore the relationship between camping and setting up home, review the construction of one landscape that followed the loss of a first, and situate the house alongside other radical attempts at homeownership in Southern California.

For Part two, Argote’s sculpture will be separated from its defining walls and precisely reconstructed in an open landscape in the Mojave Desert, at the HDTS Iron Age Road Parcel in Wonder Valley. Here, Argote theoretically realizes an off-the-cuff proposal made by Schindler protégé Gregory Ain at an early Schindler House preservation meeting: considering the monumental costs of restoration and accounting for how West Hollywood had so radically changed since construction, Ain suggested to put the Kings Road property on the market, let it meet its inevitable fate, and use the profits to rebuild the house exactly to original specifications elsewhere, as an architecture study center: “Why don’t you do what Schindler did, just go out in the desert and build one? It doesn’t belong on a tree-lined, apartment-house neighborhood. It was built to be in the desert.”*

In Wonder Valley, the traced line-as-object will carry the influence and sociocultural imprint of the house. Within the outlined perimeter of vast horizons, the architecture of both spaces will be simultaneously activated. Visitors will be able to take up residence in the ghost image of the Schindler House as the sculpture will function both to define a campsite and host conversation around home ownership, cycles of prospecting throughout the region’s history, and the meaning of the outskirts to a city like Los Angeles.

*Bernard Judge as quoted in Anthony Denzer’s Gregory Ain: The Modern Home as Social Commentary (Rizzoli, 2008).

Kip's Desert Book Club
Point Last Seen - Hannah Nyala
May 4, 2015

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Come out to Wonder Valley on May 4th at 7pm to join Ken and Teresa Sitz in discussing one of our favorite desert books, Point Last Seen by Hannah Nyala. A true story of a woman learning to be a desert search and rescue tracker in our own Joshua Tree National Park, over 20 years ago. I'm warning you now - once you start reading you won't put it down until it's finished, and you will be looking forward to the sequel. 

To get there from Joshua Tree, take Highway 62 east past where it zig zags. Watch for Shelton Road on your left (but don't turn here). Shortly after Shelton, look for the white "Book Club" sign, past the emergency pull out on the north side of the road. Turn left on Gehr Road and then turn right on Sullivan, to the first and only driveway on the left. (Ken and Teresa have a free-standing solar panel in their front yard.)  Can't wait to see another beautiful Wonder Valley sunset!

Monday, May 4, 2015, 7PM
The Sitz Residence
Wonder Valley, CA (see driving directions above)

This is the eighth meeting of Kip's Desert Book Club.  Learn more about this monthly gathering.

Kip's Desert Book Club
refuge - terry tempest williams
april 6, 2015

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The April 6 Book Club selection is Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams. An extremely well crafted portrait of the Great Salt Lake area illustrated in both emotional and intellectual dimensions. I can't describe it any further without running the risk of ruining the journey you will take with the author when you read it.

Pat will be our host at her house near the corner of Saturn and Coyote Valley in North Joshua Tree. If you are coming from downtown Joshua Tree, drive east on Hwy 62 and turn left on Sunburst, right on Golden, left on Border, drive 5 miles and look for Pole and then Del Oro Streets, then turn right on Winters, (look for the sign on left side of road, and the white Book Club sign) and then drive 4 miles just past the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center and turn left on Mockingbird. Drive about a half mile and turn right on Saturn and Pat's green house will be the first one on the left.

From 29 Palms, the fastest way would be to turn north on Sunfair from Hwy 62 and drive past the Joshua Tree Lakes campground to where the road turns to dirt and changes its name to Coyote Valley. Continue past the stop sign at Winters and look for the Book Club sign that guides you to make a very sharp left turn on Saturn. Pat's green house will be the first one on the right. As always, I'll have white Book Club signs to guide you in.

On the horizon for May is the book Point Last Seen by Hannah Nyala, the true story of a woman desert tracker. June will feature a special visit from Nancy Floyd, author of She's Got A Gun, so bring your personal copies to be signed. Hope to see you at the next meeting!

Monday, April 6, 2015, 7PM
Pat's house
North Joshua Tree, CA 
(see driving directions above)

This is the seventh meeting of Kip's Desert Book Club.  Learn more about this monthly gathering.

Off-Road Expo
HDTS & Machine Project
march 28-29, 2015

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High Desert Test Sites and Machine Project are teaming up to present Off-Road Expo, coming March 28th and 29th.  We’ve invited a few of our favorite artists and you, the public, to join us for a weekend of camping and art activity at a secret off-road site in the desert (site will be roughly 100 miles from both Joshua Tree and Los Angeles). 

Participating artists include: Bob Dornberger, Sean Duffy, Johanna Hedva with Arne Gjetlen, Joe Seely & Zut Alors; Clare KellyJohn Knuth, Candice Lin; Chrysanthe O, Gabie Strong & Dustin Smith of KCHUNG, and Michael Parker.

Here’s how it’ll work: to get the site location/reserve your spot, purchase your ticket here (sliding scale from $10 to $100).  Alternatively you can find a list here of everything our artists need to make their projects happen.  Email machine@machineproject.com to commit to providing one or more of these items, we’ll connect you with the artists who need them, and in exchange we’ll reserve you a spot at the expo. Space is limited.

In addition to bringing everything you need to camp for an evening, please bring ghost stories, weird projects to show off, and a meal to share for a sunset potluck dinner.  (Don't forget to pack out everything you bring in!)  Hope to see you there!

Kip's Desert Book Club
a canticle for leibowitz - walter m. miller, jr.
march 2, 2015

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The book club meeting for March 2nd will feature the 1960 Hugo Award winning science fiction novel A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. This book predicts the future of a dusty patch of Utah desert as told by generations of Catholic monks. Many versions of this book are available - short story, radio play, audio book, and Kindle.  Andrea Zittel has graciously offered her cozy blast-proof concrete bunker in Joshua Tree as our meeting place. Driving east on Highway 62, just outside of town, turn right (south) on the dirt road in front of the Bail Bonds office (Neptune Street), then follow my nifty white Book Club signs to guide you in. Plenty of parking is available if you continue past the house to the studio on the upper level. Can't wait to see you at the book club!

Monday, March 2, 2015, 7PM
A-Z West
Joshua Tree, CA 
(see driving directions above)

This is the sixth meeting of Kip's Desert Book Club.  Learn more about this monthly gathering.