PSST! - Playing to the Crowd

‘Mapping the Desert, Deserting the Map’ art project returns



UC Santa Barbara professor and part-time Joshua Tree resident Dick Hebdige leads emerging artists to thought-provoking extremes.

SAM ENGLISH

Passing a large particleboard box on legs, people reached their hands into its fur-lined slot and laughed. Perhaps it evoked a childhood memory of a stuffed animal — or maybe it was nothing more than the joy of satisfying curiosity.

“There is no shock or punch line; the piece is simply a moment to reflect,” says Patrick Melroy, who created the installation at the Joshua Tree Music Festival with Nikki Leone. “The environment of the music festival is loud, and it seems everything in the desert is sharp; so Nikki wanted to give attendees something completely soft and luxurious.”

Leone and Melroy were among art students participating in the latest iteration of Dick Hebdige’s Mapping the Desert, Deserting the Map. Last March, the professor at University of California, Santa Barbara, led students from seven UC campuses in a weekend exhibition of art installations in the desert surrounding Wonder Valley. Hebdige, who owns a house in Joshua Tree, views the desert as “a jarring cluster of contradictory metaphors, myths, and images” and thus “an opportunity to review and revise fundamental principles, practices, and modes of operation.”

His program is designed to put students to work individually and collaboratively in real-world settings “in such a way that they are required to learn about and respond creatively to local conditions, contexts, and communities,” Hebdige says.

“The fact that I have an abiding personal connection to the Mohave Desert is what motivated me to dedicate part of my research and teaching to Desert Studies,” he explains. “I am interested in taking the desert to the coast and vice versa.”

In addition to teaching, Hebdige is writing a catalog essay for Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography, an exhibition opening Jan. 21, 2012, at Palm Springs Art Museum.

Comments to this website are moderated by staff. While all comments are welcome, we encourage all to be polite and please do use this system for advertising or business promotions. Any complaint towards a business or service should be directed directly to that business and not posted here. If anyone has a complaint that a comment is defamatory, please contact me at tmay@palmspringslife.com and I will take appropriate action promptly. Thank You

Add your comment:
Palm Springs Life

Related Articles

Wesley Eure Will Co-Emcee at Desert AIDS Project Benefit

Chelsea Lane Bodywear presents Under & Out 3, a fashion show and poolside party on Oct. 5 as part of a benefit for the Desert AIDS Project.

"Top Rock" Commands Stage at Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs

"Top Rock" brings a brash, rockin' musical tribute to the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs on Friday and Saturday nights through September.

Palm Springs Horoscope - August 2014

Just persevere through these tough times, and know that the hard way will become the right road in 2015.

Palm Springs Horoscope - July 2014

Entering Leo on July 16, Jupiter ramps up the social calendar. There will be more summer parties than last year — expect an overbooked schedule.

Star Power

The Palm Springs Walk of Stars honors philanthropic superhero Lynda Carter for shattering stereotypes and blazing new paths for generations of women.

Promotions + Contests

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

Experience the beauty, romance and excitement of the Palm Springs area when you enter to be the lucky winner of this romantic couple’s getaway
90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Each month, a first place winner will be selected to win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!And, each month, three additional runners up will be selected to win a wonderful Palm Springs area Dining certificate!
2013/14 Best of the Best

2013/14 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.