Room with a Keyboard

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Our Man in Tver

The Ladies of Guadalupe

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DIY HDTS 2013

Like nearly everyone, I missed HDTS 2013, a contemporary-art road show that started Oct 12 in Joshua Tree CA (34°8’5.02″ N/116°18’47.04″ W) and ended Oct 19 in Albuquerque NM (35° 5′ 3″ N/106° 39′ 2″ W). Although already documented by participants and practically ancient history by most people’s standards, I want to retrace some of the proceedings anyway.

If you are joining me, stay where you are. Don’t block out a week of your busy schedule with spendy, complicated travel plans. Don’t worry about extra hydration, rattlesnakes or bathroom breaks. We are following in HDTS footsteps via words.

Where were you in Oct 2013? The daily grind in sunny (and foggy) San Diego pinned down two wannabe HDTS 2013 attendees, partner Suzanne and me. America’s political class – strike what I wrote about not worrying about snakes! – was in a swivet over the Affordable Care Act and the Antideficiency Act. Mainstream moviegoers streamed to Gravity, during which, according to Richard Corliss of Time magazine, “a hailstorm of debris hurtles at you, as do a space traveler’s thoughts at the realization of being truly alone in the universe.” The art world at large was – oh, all over the map.

Although we are aiming for particular compass points, I can guarantee that our path will cross with past road trips and post-2013 ones.

Let’s assemble now at the 48-pp publication prepared for the event. Our first stop, the cover, depicts a spartan map of the route, absent traditional cartographic iconography such as place names and route numbers. Turning pages, we get our bearings from a thanks to supporters, table of contents, introduction and list of projects sorted alphabetically by artist. High-desert survival tips follow: be smart, leave no trace, and so forth. The guide is low tech, its b/w format reminiscent (intentional, one supposes) of “books” made on mimeograph machines in 1960s classrooms. The commercial sector in that “simpler” era produced similar documents. Project descriptions fill the rest of the guide, with a fuel stop at pp. 20-23 for an essay Signs, Wonders, and Paper Towns. The descriptions run chronologically/geographically from west to east.

[ written in stages from March 2018 to ? ]