Yep, a blog!

I am a movie fan and film historian so I thought I would borrow the idea from cinema to offer periodic “Coming Attractions” on what I am working on. My writing comes in fits and starts (doesn’t everyone’s?) orchestrated by my will and cyclical work ethic. Here we go with what I am writing at the moment.

December 10, 2015: A new High & Dry Dispatch

Earlier in the year my collaborator, Osceola Refetoff, and I spent two days at the cinder mine located south of Olancha, California. If you have traveled the 395 corridor, chances are you have noticed the cinder cone called “Red Hill.” The mine is nearby.

I have been polishing a dispatch (unnamed at the moment) exploring how the geological history of an area can be read in the landscape, almost like the way you read a book page by page. It is a “volcanic landscape,” with significant eruptions, lava flows and cinder cone eruptions. They happened 400,000 years ago, 100,000 years ago and as late as 10,000 years ago. The writing and photographs capture the complexity and beauty of this stark, tortured land.

It will be followed by a second dispatch exploring the aesthetics of the “altered landscape” in more detail. You will meet mine manager Ben Boyd, who expresses his feelings about the beauty he sees in the land even as (or perhaps because) he is significantly disturbing or “altering it.” What are the aesthetics to use in evaluating the “beauty” of an altered landscape?

The first dispatch will publish on our website next week. I will let you know when it is officially up.


NOTE: I took these snapshots documenting Osceola Refetoff and I working as High & Dry at Red Hill. These are not the fine art photographs that will be published with the dispatch mentioned above.