You are invited to a screening of Ty Cary’s twenty-one-minute video, Desert Gestures, made as a recent participant in the field school of the Land Arts of The American West.
Cary, from Montrose, Colorado, will be in attendance to meet you and discuss the travels that gave rise to Desert Gestures.
The Land Arts program, based in Lubbock under the direction of Chris Taylor, is described as a “semester abroad in our own backyard.” Participating students and scholars camped for fifty days and traveled 5522 miles overland visiting artists and seeing land art monuments while conceiving and creating the work for an exhibition that opened in February at the Museum of Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
Cary’s background is in social anthropology and the video is a continuation of a kind of anthropological sensibility that he came to cultivate during his studies. Some of the bigger questions that were present with him during the program had to do with the relationship between the camps of anthropology and art—what distinguishes the two fields, how might they inform one another, what would it mean or look like to practice an art-anthropology?
The piece documents a playful flaneur and considers questions of art-anthropology iterated in various ways within the video’s chapters, some taking on a documentary approach, others leaning into speculation and imagination.
The stories told in the video begin with the Donner-Reed party, who were famously stranded in the Sierra Nevada in the 1840s, and continue throughout the west, eventually ending at the Very Large Array, twenty-five miles west of Magdalena, New Mexico.
Land Arts of The American West: https://landarts.org/