BLAST SITE: A Workshop for Conjecture
November 12, 2011 - 9:00am - 2:00pm

Artists Danielle McCullough and Gabie Strong will lead a sun-print cyanotype process workshop using 19th century photographic techniques and contemporary materials gathered from the desert floor to produce images of white on a sea of bright blue. Blast Site is a monument to future failures, marking survival in the high desert, invoking both the ancient and the new.

The workshop includes a post-apocalyptic narrative hike through Blast Site— through the urban, rural and mythic areas of the high desert – followed by a cyanotype process printing demonstration using sunlight and detritus. Workshop attendees will learn how to create beautiful, blue-print like photographs to commemorate their travels through Blast Site. The workshop demonstration will be followed by a barbecued vegetarian lunch including native vegetation.

Gabie and Danielle have designed and printed an exclusive, hand-made limited-edition artist book and CD soundtrack for workshop attendees. Titled Blast Site: A Field Guide to Excavating Our Future Failures, this book presents high desert field research including essays on the military-industrial complex, indigenous mythology of the region, poetry, survival cooking recipes, maps and ephemera.   

Workshop fees include a guided tour through Blast Site, cyanotype process printing demonstration and prints, a copy of the limited-edition artist book, and lunch.  


Saturday Nov. 12, 2011

High Desert Test Sites Headquarters, Joshua Tree

09:00 – 09:30  - Workshop Introduction  
09:30 – 10:30  - Guided Tour of Blast Site
11:00 – 13:00  - Cyanotype Printing Demonstration  (Solar Noon @ 11:30 AM)
13:00 – 14:00  - Survival Cooking Demonstration and Lunch 



This is an early morning, sun-printing workshop: The cyanotype process requires the use of sunlight to print images on paper. The workshop is set to start at 9:00 am so that workshop attendees can be printing during the strongest hours of sun, for maximum printing efficiency. It is important that workshop attendees arrive to the workshop on time. If guests driving from Los Angeles would like to camp or stay in near by lodging the Friday night before the workshop, please contact for more information. 

Registration Fee: The cost is $120 per person for the workshop. The fee includes the cyanotype printing demonstration, lunch and a limited edition commemorative book handmade by the artists. All proceeds are used to cover supplies, event materials, and a small honorarium for the artists.

Enrollment: Due to the intimate nature of this event the group will be limited to twelve people. Spaces will be filled on a first come first serve basis. If you would like to enroll please email to confirm your interest and complete your payment for the weekend through PayPal. The fee is non-refundable, however you can give your reservation to another person if you are not able to make the event. Please sign up by November 7 to complete your reservation.

About the Artists:
Danielle McCullough’s works are a result of materials and processes in which her body is used to create a perceptual vantage point from which to think through tactile manipulations. Her gestures are informed by animal interactions and natural energy – utilizing cyanotype (one of the earliest photographic forms used in plant species illustration) to manifest a permanent blue trace from a momentary arrangement of light. McCullough has participated in a number of exhibitions at Los Angeles art venues including the Pacific Design Center, Jancar Gallery, Workspace, Telic Arts Exchange, Fluxco, The Women’s Building, The Advocate and Gochis Galleries at the Ed Gould Plaza, and Texan Equities. Additionally, she has shown her work and conducted visiting artist workshops and lectures at venues across the continental United States. She is a recipient of grants from the Creative Capacity Fund, Change, Inc., and an artist residency at The Vermont Studio Center. She earned her BA in Studio Art from the University of Northern Iowa and her MFA in Painting from Ohio University. McCullough lives and works in Los Angeles.

Gabie Strong is an artist with a multidisciplinary approach to creating work about nature, technology, power and social resistance. Through her art, she seeks to tease out a feminist-dialectic between pure war and utopia, the state of entropy so indicative to Southern California. With a foundation in conceptualism and research in the built environment, Strong traces entropy in the West by photographically framing vernacular urban obsolescence as speculative landscape futures. Her sculpture, sound performance, and recordings are studies in degeneration. She improvises arrangements and layers of textures to emphasize reduced and abstracted gestures to further invoke drone and decay. Gabie Strong’s work has been exhibited at Pitzer Art Galleries, LAXArt, Acuna-Hansen, Gallery Five Thirty Three, and the Torrance Art Museum, among others. She has performed at venues including The UCR Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts, Human Resources, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Las Cienegas Projects, The MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Jabberjaw and Amy and Wendy Yao’s Art Swap Meet at High Desert Test Sites.  She received her Master of Architecture from SCI-Arc (2006) and her MFA in Studio Art from UC Irvine (2008).