Discover more from Mars College
From The Department of Physical Art
AQ Sound Bath by Scott (Seamus) Kildall, Bombay Beach Biennale
How does creating art in the desert landscape change its interaction with people and the environment? Mars College is unique — it’s a site-specific temporary community — situated in what appears to be a barren setting. The area is sparsely inhabited and has materials for artistic reuse everywhere. The possibilities in this specific canvas open up a rich conversation that taps into a vibrant history of contemporary art.
This course module is a production course that will be a part of the Department of Physical Art and rely on working in the shop to make physical things, installations based on art, architecture and other large things.
We will begin some light readings and conceptual aspects of creating art in the landscape, with conversations around Land Art pioneers such as Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt to spark ideas and conversations around what we might want to build.
Will will also make field trips to Bombay Beach to explore the installations and East Jesus, also possibly, the Noah Purifoy Joshua Tree Museum to seek inspiration and context for what kinds of things we can make in the desert.
The production goal will be to make a physical installation for the Finals and also optionally, the Bombay Beach Biennale.
I am offering up a curatorial possibility of hosting artwork on my two beach parcels — called Ceres — for the Bombay Beach Biennale, and hosting a 1-year exhibition of artwork created from this course module there.
We will support each other with ideation, design, and production, offering feedback, mentoring and physical help with making large-scale art installation work and building community along the way!
Sun Tunnels (1973–1976) by Nancy Holt
None. Any previous fabrication experience will be welcome. We will share knowledge and work as a collective.
This will be a good amount of time with a low bar for technical entry. We expect about 3 hours/week of actual course instruction/checking in with most of this time being front-loaded towards the beginning. The Shop will be open for communal activity from 1-5pm, Monday-Friday. This will be a place where we can expect fabrication support.
Joshua Tree Outdoor Museum, Noah Purifoy
Rough Course Outline (this will change)
Week 1: (Jan 7):
90 minute Introduction to “Desert Fabrication” with introductions, ~20 minute slide presentation, tour of the shop, question & answer, ideas about projects and freeform discussion and how to tailor this course for folks.
1-hr shop orientation, basic tool training. Wood fabrication training: table saw, compound mitre saw, drill press. Shop clean.
Week 2 (Jan 15):
Class 2: Land Art and what it means to build things in the environment.
1 hour: Laser-cutter training
Field Trip: Walking tour of the Bombay Beach installations. Take photos.
Discuss ideas. Sunset on the Beach Parcels (Ceres) with a fire pit.
Homework: Brainstorm your project!
Week 2 (Jan 22):
1 hour. Student presentations on inspirations (5 minutes each), follow up from Ideas Week, combine with what you saw at Bombay Beach.
Ceres land clear and art relocation
Field trip to East Jesus (Saturday)
Week 3 (Jan 29):
1 hour: Brainstorm ideation + project ideation
Week 4 (Feb 5):
1 hour Final Project critiques
Get Materials list
2 hour field trip to Ben’s (TBD) for CNC demo, other spits in town
Week 5 (Feb 12):
Have your project ready for presentation
Materials and project plan ready to do
Midterms — Feb 16th-18th (details tbd)
Finals — Mar 15th-17th (details tbd)