This ancestral land of the Paiute Shoshone, the Bureau of Land Management now oversees these 750,000 acres of Eastern Sierra public lands, including the 18,600 acres of the Alabama Hills. These uniquely rounded rock formations pepper the desert landscape along the foothills of the staggering and jagged Sierras, nestled in the Owen’s Valley—a land that has a layered history of use, abuse, extraction and perpetual projection.
These public lands were named in conjunction with a projection of ideology, southern sympathizers in the area naming them after the confederate warship Alabama. A strange namesake yet to be toppled.
More than 700 films, television shows and commercials were shot on location in the Alabama Hills—The Lone Ranger, Gunga Din, Ironman, The Twilight Zone, Temors. In doing so, its stunning landscape has been untethered from place, abstracted, projected and exported through the moving image.
As the inaugural artist-in-residence, I created within the framework of projection of place by utilizing two camera obscuras —one tubular handheld and one walk-in 5’x5′ cube—to project images of the hills within the hills. Images created will be gifted to community spaces within the neighboring town of Lone Pine, ensuring imagery of the hills is grounded within their community as it is simultaneously exported outward.
Many thanks to Ginger and the Bishop BLM field office, and Friends of the Inyo.