Sweeping in its scope, the Sonoran Desert covers 280,000 square kilometers across the Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico. All of the earth’s biomes—tundra, coniferous forest, temperate deciduous forest, grassland, thornscrub, chaparral, tropical forest and desert—occur within its vast perimeters. As a result, the Sonoran Desert is a fertile environment for the visual articulation of such themes as place, origin and our inner most human connection with wild spaces.
Imprint explores the traditional desert landscape and represents the first instalment in a larger body of work that will ultimately investigate each biome within the Sonoran Desert region. Through performance-based video, Imprint addresses the relationship between two landscapes—one outside the self, the other within. Using the body as a conduit and a canvas, the project considers the intrinsic nature of this dynamic by imprinting the desert landscape upon human flesh.
Imprint has transpired over three seasons and across 300 acres of untouched desert terra within the Arizona Uplands; the arid atmosphere pulls moisture out of the body as sunlight presses fevered warmth into the skin. This exchange coupled with the extremes of climate and landscape begets a visceral and physical awareness of the body and its relationship to the natural world. The desert encourages a marriage, a wedding of skins—earthly and human. It is with feeling, intuition and energy that this union is formed.