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Plays off of the relationship between the stability of land masses, water, topographical projections and seismological incidents (earthquakes) and the connection of these elements with the body and various mechanical, conceptual, geographical and anthropomorphic projections of that body in relation to architectural, cultural and conceptual space(s) The Earth Fell Flat, And Then Got Up Again proposes to investigate notions of reality, stability, geology and perception and how these constructs are subverted, regionalized and internalized via mechanical and metaphorical models of the body's relationship to fabricated and natural topography

Three aluminum model windmills, standing approximately 8 feet tall, of the type commonly found in the American Midwest and West are installed in an room, specific architecturally as a mid 1900's Los Angeles building interior. Add, if you will, The Earth Fell Flat, And Then Got Up Again to the following tenant directory In a single office building in the heart of Los Angeles circa 1932:

Spiritual Mystic Astrologer; Spiritual Physic Science Church, number 450, Service Daily, Message Circles, Trumpets Thursday, Circle of Truth Church, Spiritual Psychic Science Church, First Church of Divine Love and Wisdom; Reverend Eva Coram, Giving Her Wonderful Cosmic Readings, Divine Healing Daily; Spiritual Science Church of the Master, Special Rose Light Circle, Nothing Impossible
-Carey McWilliams Southern California: An Island on the Land (1946)

The windmills reference the production of water and power but will in fact be dysfunctional. They are used to signify not only the bodies presence in the landscape but the signaling of human presence in desolate landscapes (Southwestern desert, Midwestern cornfield, urban street) a conflation of life-giving water (functional windmill) and abandoned windmill (desert cliché. urban morass). They are a kind of crazy hope.


BOXES 12 x 12 x 12"

There it is Take It!
-William Mulholland at the opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct

Three wandering Zen monks, Seppo, Gansto, and Kinzan, lose their way while on a pilgrimage through the mountains. A green vegetable leaf floating down a stream revealed that someone was living further up the mountain. But they decided that anyone careless enough to lose one vegetable leaf was not worth meeting. Just then they saw a man with a long-handled hook racing along the stream.
-Zen proverb

I was told that Echo Park was cruisey in the thirties. You would walk around the lake and men would tip their hats and you knew that they were like you, but the LAPD also learned how to tip their hats. I was too young really, but I almost understood. Many years later I heard that a guy with the Scientologists bragged that in the thirties when he was a kid he threw faggots in the lake to see if they would float. I steered clear.
-Ray Donner

Box One contains a pool of water that is activated by a mechanism that at intervals produces a small wave or concentric circles.


Lillian, the youngest participant in my uncompleted film, scratches at the desert floor with a rock and wonders aloud how anything could be built out of sand. Her stone raises large clouds of white dust. She is bathing in the ether, pounding with her rock until she is covered in a fine powder. Finally she gets tired and says: its too dry out here. Her mom unsnaps her water bottle. Water flows from stone.

My wickedest thrill is to watch tourists snap flash photos of the night skyline off the rail of the Observatory. I know full well there will be thousands of snaps ricocheting all over the world, millions of eagerly observed snaps of the edges of rough sides of boulders, trees and flower beds and darkness... pictures of over-illuminated bougainvillea and the LA skyline reduced to a red blur, a smear of erasure replicated in Fujis, Agfas and Kodaks... visions of monstrous vastness proudly brought home to enthralled relatives... crushed granite paths becoming crushed presentation velvet... A solid shifting bedrock. It was so big. It was so bright. It looked like this.

Box Two contains stone, native to Southern California.


California is an island on the right hand of the Indies and very near the terrestrial paradise
-Las Sergas de Esplañdia de Montalvo Queen of California Calafia)

Los Angeles is a bright, guilty place.
-Orson Welles

Box Three will be filled with earth taken as a core sample from Elysian Park, whose geology is closest to the earth over which I sleep. A mechanical device shakes the earth slightly at intervals causing a small dusty cloud to rise above the edge of the box and fill the surrounding environment with the remnants of this staged geologic event.

The image in this box directly references television news footage shot during a recent Los Angeles earthquake which depicted portions of the San Gabriel Mountains rising and settling, producing huge clouds of dust as each aftershock was registered. This dust cloud was in fact the only visible and recordable portion of the geological disruption, aside from seismic measuring graphs and convenience store surveillance camera footage. It became the only natural & replicated marker of the seismic event.

It had an air of not belonging to America, though all its motley ways were American. It was a city of refugees from America; it was purely itself in a banishment partly dreamed and partly real. It rested on a crust of earth at the edge of a sea that ended a world.
-Frank Fenton A Place in the Sun

We sold them the climate and threw the land in...