imperial dunes

Along interstate 8, just west of Yuma, Arizona are a spectacular array of sand dunes, the Imperial Sand Dunes.  As they are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) this area is a recreational fun house already rolling at the early morning am.  Full of BBQs, confederate flags and the constant hum of All Terrain Vehicles.  At the California 156 exit you will find this southern stretch of the Imperial Sand Dunes poetically split by the highway with the South side dunes radiating a motorized hum, cigarette-beer-meat mixed smell, with dust rising, while the North side dunes silently stretched behind the All American Canal seeming just out of reach.  Standing on the overpass above hwy 8 is the perfect place to simultaneously appreciate landscape activated and landscape sublime.

ice spouts

last december was a warm winter for Lake Michigan. only a varying ten foot ice shelf incased the northeaster shore after a series of short freezes and thaws. but because the temperatures hovered above and below 32 degrees fahrenheit, small water canals to ice-cone spouts were formed and dotted the edge of this ice-shelf shore. each one redirected the fresh water up and out as the waves moved towards shore making for a reconfigured playful landscape margin.


located in the southeast region of california, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a back-route destination in itself. located west of the Salton Sea (another Inland Empire destination), this desert valley is bordered on three sides by the San Ysidro Mountains with the fourth side opening eastward out to a seemingly open horizon. the bowl shape topography beautifully records the passing light and sets an intimacy to this grand space.

built for people, housing cars

a fantastic example of palimpsest architecture, the Michigan Building in Detroit, Michigan is a known landmark of bare bone theater architecture transformed into a parking structure. previously housing the Michigan Theater, this three level parking structure sits within the skeleton audience house offering new proximities to the main stage and what remains of the balcony seating. Kent Kleinman and Leslie Van Duzer provide context and background to this beautiful mash-up in their “Detroit’s Michigan” article published in Stalking Detroit (Barcelona: ACTAR, 2001).

or if in LA, look for the reprogrammed grand theater space, now an indoor market, in the Broadway theater district of downtown Los Angeles.