Following a long afternoon nap after our hike and boozy brunch, we raced out at sundown to view one the the contemporary art installations on exhibition for the art event DesertX. 'I am' by Tavares Strachan was vast and impressive. A multitude of cavities in the desert sand were lit by a neon glow. Each cavity was big enough to trip over and some large enough to fall into. It was an incredible sight. Each shape seemed like an abstract form from our vantage point on the ground. From a bird's eye view, it read "I am."
Here is the artist's statement from the DesertX website:
“I am” is a work that explores the relationship between human beings and their environment. Borrowing from Vedic Philosophy, the phrase “I am” is to identify oneself with the universe and /or ultimate reality. There is a rich history of human beings exploring the desert as place to disconnect and reconnect with questions about who they might be. As someone born on an island, surrounded by what may be considered beautiful but potentially Hostile Ocean, I personally have understood these vast landscapes as opportunities to re-center and dislocate one’s imagination all at the same time. With the help of a skilled team, I plan to dig 290 craters over 100,000 square feet or the size of two America football fields. Once the holes are mapped and dug into the desert floor, brightly lit neon tubes will align the perimeter of each crater. The viewer will interact with what seems like an abstracted glowing crevasse of light, but if viewed from the sky one will read the exploded phrase “I am.”here.
That was our fantastic second day in the desert!