counter/cartographies: you are here: the journal of creative geography

you are here is an annual publication by graduate students in the
School of Geography, Development, and Environment (SGDE) at
the University of Arizona that explores geographic themes through
poetry, creative writing, maps, photographs, visual and sound art,
film, performance, and other imaginable genres.

The Sep 18, 2023 counter/cartographies includes Nickel’s Yestermorrow: Llano’s Obvious Answers to Impossible Futures under countermapping & storywork situated beside creative works challenging dominant imaginaries, representations & practices of space with contributors from around the globe.

Read it for free or purchase a print copy (https://sites.google.com/view/edenkinkaid/creative-works/countercartographies)

From the Ruins of Our Alternative Futures

Adjacent, Adjacent alludes to the artistic process and
experiences of the participants of the FORUM 2019—a collaborative residency of fourteen art professionals at the Torrance Art Museum (TAM). The exhibition incorporates a range of creative practices, artistic materials, concepts, and methodologies which operate independently of one another while offering multiple shared visual languages located in relational ways.

The resulting museum exhibition, and its progressive development of relations can then be considered in its metonymy, as a generative labyrinth which also involves the stars. ( Catalogue: TAM Forum 2019 Catalog color 8×10 Pages_withcover_final_lr )

Yestermorrow Llano: An Artist’s Field Guide to Llano, California

Yestermorrow Llano: An Artist's field Guide to Llano, CA

The rural Los Angeles County high desert region of Llano, California has historically been defined by innovative people willing to explore and define a new sense of place. An Artist’s Field Guide to Llano, California introduces the past, present, and futures of Llano including its relationship to the Antelope Valley, Los Angeles, California, and their own—yestermorrows.

Throughout the guide are cultural references, historical clippings, prompts, and collaborative activities to activate your sensory and artistic experiences of Llano. Create perfume, form a book club, make a recipe, or map, architect, and construct your looking glass connection to the high desert by envisioning a geographic imagination and aesthetic experience of place through its cultural memory, collective present, and social futures.

Download the pdf (large file): Yestermorrow Llano, An Artist’s Field Guide to Llano, California

Yestermorrow: Llano, An Artist’s Field Guide to Llano, California was created by Larissa Nickel, and is supported by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Antelope Valley Arts Outpost creative placemaking initiative funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council with support from Metabolic Studio.

Outpost partners include: the Otis College of Art and Design MFA Public Practice program (Otis), the Lancaster Museum of Art and History (MOAH), the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance (GAVEA), the Department of Regional Planning, and the Office of 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger.

Blowin’ in the Wind: Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Art in the Public Realm

Christo and Jeanne-Claude_Surrounded Islands_Florida, 1980-83“Blowin’ in the Wind: Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Art in the Public Realm” KCET Artbound, July 7, 2016 https://www.kcet.org/shows/artbound/christo-and-jeanne-claude-umbrellas-the-gates-running-fence

Public artwork often endures acclaim and controversy in the communal and ecological fields of a mired social landscape. After first meeting in 1958, Christo and Jeanne-Claude have pioneered a legacy of environmental art which has both encountered debate and expanded the role of art in public/private interactions to redefine our awareness and recognition of work in the social sphere.

Addressing the Ephemeral: David Babb’s Secret Garden

babb_david_secrets#18_and_#24“Addressing the Ephemeral: David Babb’s Secret Garden,” KCET Artbound, May 13, 2015. http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/los-angeles/david-babb-secrets-antelope-valley.html

Babb began crafting an elaborate backyard garden that features the unique flowers and plants which thrive in the Mojave desert. His garden is a site of inspiration, transience, and memory. It creates a living representation of the ebb and flow between humans and the natural world—a place of experiences and discovery, growth and cyclical death.

Being Here and There: Ambiguous Boundaries and Contested Terrains

“Being Here and There: Ambiguous Boundaries and Contested Terrains” KCET Artbound, January 7, 2015.

Being Here and There, a photographic landscape exhibition curated by artist Sant Khalsa at the city of Lancaster’s Museum of Art and History (MOAH), features works by twenty-six artists whose imagery derives from their individual and contemplative experience of place.

The Discarded Museum

Nickel_Larissa_Crate“The Discarded Museum: Illegal Dumping and the Archive Outside” ARID: A Journal of Desert Art, Design and Ecology, Fall 2014. The Discarded Museum_ Illegal Dumping and the Archive Outside _ Larissa Nickel _ ARID

To consider a dump site as a form of heterotopic museum is to critique and exalt both the museum and the dump presenting objects of valued material culture and objects of discarded waste culture on the same level playing field.

The Antelope Valley Film Trilogy

lakela“The Antelope Valley Film Trilogy: Close Up with Mike Ott and Atsuko Okatsuka,” KCET Artbound, June 13, 2014. http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/los-angeles/the-antelope-valley-film-trilogy-mike-ott-atsuko-okatsuka.html  

While Palmdale is one of the larger regions of the Antelope Valley, the smaller communities of Sun Village—Littlerock, Lake Los Angeles, and Pearblossom—are on the outskirts of Los Angeles County, and remain largely unknown outside of news stories.

The Portal

The Portal“Paradise Lost: The Portal in California City,” KCET Artbound, March 24, 2014. http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/kern/the-portal-california-city-dennis-rudolph.html  

“Welcome to California City: Land of the Sun,” reads a sign on the side of the road. The surrounding terrain is bordered by an expansive horizon with acres of desert landscape rendered in browns and tans and attached in the distance to the blue of the sky above — the territory of the sun.

DEHSART Evaluation

Nickel_Larissa_Rs_end shoot“DEHSART, Adaptive Evaluation,” Antelope Valley Illegal Dumping Task Force, January, 2014. http://dpw.lacounty.gov/epd/illdump/pdf/DEHSART.pdf (Public version)

DEHSART is an artist-led engagement initiative in response to the prevalence of illegally dumped waste in the desert that aimed to inspire innovative strategies for creative transformation of the natural environment using artistic practices and community coordinated arts learning.

The Unbounded Museum

nmai_soundThe Unbounded Museum explores the contemporary architectural notion of the “third space,” a hybrid concept that blurs the division between physical and virtual spaces.

“Research Highlights: The Unbounded Museum,” Emerging Museum Professionals blog, March 2013. http://emergingprofessionals.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/research-highlights-the-unbounded-museum/


Photo Enforced

enforced7“Photo Enforced,” Blurring the Boundaries: Exploration and Experimentation in Contemporary Photography exhibition catalogue (The Lancaster Museum of Art and History: Lancaster, 2008). Download the pdf (10 MB):  nickel_larissa_photo_enforced