Under The Same Sun
1 Square Mile
I see my artwork in the lineage of the Earth Artists. One of my favorites being Michael Heizer, a renegade artist who left New York in the 60ʼs to make monumental sculptural works out West, most famously Double Negative. I have long been inspired by a series he did in the seventies called Land Drawings - some of which he made using a motorbike, literally drawing into the earth with bikes. I was excited to do a large scale work in the tradition of Heizerʼs piece as part of the series I am currently producing out in the Mojave desert.
As I was out there, creating the piece. So much was going through my mind. All of it had been pre-meditated, but still - the moment, the endurance, the perfect circle, a racetrack with no straightaway. The piece is about the sun, and the sun was blocking my view of the track, and i was marking its trace. The track was invisible, and I was thinking about the old Dakota saying, about being remembered by the tracks we leave behind, and here I am making a circle track. While I was working with this concept on paper, I was obsessing over circles and their historic relevance to societies and societyʼs architecture informing a societyʼs language, but even more so, fundamental understanding -- the profound effects of sitting in a circle as a discussion and so on.
I had wanted this piece to be three dimensional, whereas to my understanding Heizerʼs concept was more of a drawing. And the dust I was kicking up was 3 dimensional and being lit in a circle through the setting sunlight. Kicking up the dust - the dust from the tracks I was digging into the earth. I remember thinking about Kivaʼs being dug into the ground as a symbolic link, for the Pueblo people, to their ancestral underworld. Honestly, I have no idea what that means, but I was there circling, thinking about our ancestry, our history, the movement of the sun or the earth - depending on your perspective - it wasnʼt an ellipse though - it was a circle - with the same torque and the same endurance the whole way out - I would speed up, but I would skid. And I was thinking about the ruts we all create in our lives, the tracks, following that same track, with the same speed, and it felt very relevant that I was out there on my dirtbike, expressing all this, in this beautiful manner, remembering why we set out to dirtbike in the first place - and that giving us that sense of attention and present focus that is so specific to this work, Under the Same Sun, and being out on a bike.
I am not sure exactly the place where Heizerʼs work stopped and my own started, but I believe itʼs less about that and more about the human spirit.
And from a distance it looked so beautiful.
90 degrees, 270 degrees. The final remaining drawing had 4 different sized circles, each which determined how fast I could ride, with openings to the sunrise and the sunset over the course of the week it took me to create it. Ending on the equinox, when the sun rises due east and sets due west - as well as for the week to follow - when it will degrade and return to the earth from the elements, the rain and the movement of the sun.