A. Leo Nash, Oakland, California, USA
Temporary Atonomous Zones
The search for authenticity and a place to operate dangerous mechanical devices, has led a group of artists out into the Nevada Desert. There in the harsh white and blank expanse of a dry lakebed, they are able to make machines that define a new movement in art. Some are robotic, most are built from salvaged industrial cast-offs, and almost all somehow use fire, or should I say FIRE, as their primary means of expression.
I came upon this loose knit group while doing a project on alternative communities. I was so moved it became apparent the project I had started no longer interested me. I buried eight years of negatives in the confines of my file cabinet(s) and started anew.
There is an honesty and defiance that exists in the work that compels the viewer in the way that love often strikes. Leaving one involuntarily disorientated or some how changed. The world that each of us lives in often doesn’t make sense. We toil through long workweeks to pay for overpriced houses and expensive cars that pollute the air that we breath while surrounded by consumerism taken to the level of an addiction. The din and static of mainstream society invades every corner of our lives and these artists are driven to comment on it in the most profound ways. There’s something noble and moving in watching someone express a vision as a state of being, in a desperately remote place. Where the audience is often limited to a few friends who have been willing to make the trek a hundred plus miles out into the desert, with all the hardship that comes along with it. My only wish is that through this expanding body of work, you see what I see.
A.Leo Nash, June, 2005