Only if we are capable of dwelling, only then can we build. Martin Heidegger describes the fundamental character of dwelling as sparing (freeing) and preserving (to leave in peace).
All is quiet on site I assume. Two buildings at rest. Our first residents, the nest of small brown finches that moved into the exposed crease of I-beam have probably now left their nest and abandoned their home in ours.
In the high heat of the summer the boulders supporting the building expand 1/8 of an inch, compressing the wood and steal together midday, and allowing a sigh of relief at night. Quielty breathing in and out.
The foundation and most of the interior and exterior surface is rock. Decomposing Granite. Boulders in solid form, sand in expanded. An ontological nightmare. Composed of plagioclase feldspar, orthoclase feldspar, quartz, mica. These elements all at the mercy of water, which permeates slowly through the rocks, unbinding the silica, decomposing into mud and drying into sand. The foundation of which they rest upon.
Fortunately, we are in a desert, and the last three years have been the driest on record. I wonder if this is why the sheriffs helicopter passes by overhead and pauses over our building. He must be watching the rocks, to make sure they don’t budge. Or maybe he’s thinking about what Buckminster Fuller said, that matter should be arranged by sympathy.
It is a strange situation, building here. The buildings, seemingly unwilling to remain permanently enclosed, appear to move elsewhere without difficulty; into other times, and on different planes of dream and memory.
A year has passed.
We spent weeks and months considering the strongest ways to bind our materials to the rocks. 1/2″ steel rods drive 12″ into the rock every 7″. These run all the way up the wall through 14″ thick sand bags and tension rack to the roof with 3/4″ all thread. The roof is tethered to the foundation and the adjoining walls with steel and industrial epoxy.
People have visited from all over the world with all different interests in the project. We’ve hosted screenings, shows, dinners. We’ve had long talks, ate pizza, sat quietly on the deck, shared stories, hand waved through rooms and concepts.
We intentionally arrived without a plan, or had loose plans. A year, two buildings, maybe a library. Ideally, things would take shape as time and space would allow. Auto-construction, letting the natural environment and our repetitive movement through the space suggest a plan. Listening intuitively.
There is a lot of room to think in the desert. Vast enough to hear a timbre of certainty and drown in the resonance of potential. Most homes have large material piles somewhere on the grounds. Old growth wood covered with tarps, rusted steel rods, iron framed skeletons of beds and hollowed spring mattresses. These are new fences, barns, sheds, greenhouses. There’s enough room for everything.
People will tell you all about it.
We now have two material piles. They feel like tumors. Windows, doors, steel and wood scraps. Remainders and reminders.
In Baudelaire’s poetics, the word vast expresses a vital, intimate conviction. It transmits to our ears the echo of the secret recess of our being. It bears the mark of gravity.
We wrap our heads around the universe by telling ourselves stories. Mental scaffolding in search of form and reason. Planning, mapping, and modeling ourselves to reconcile with the existential. Rebecca Solnit considers stories as compasses and architecture. A place is a story and stories are geography. We think to tell stories, but often stories tell us.
There is a lot of talk in the desert about listening, internalizing. Although rarely when you meet someone who has lived in the desert for longer than a year, are they a great listener. They tend to ramble on about the past, how they ended up here, or about some massive plan for salvation in a large human scaled mood ring monitoring the worlds levels of oxytoxin. There is a sense of loneliness and isolation, coupled with conviction and positivity, that thrive in the hopes and dreams of people out here.
It’s often pointed out by visitors, who are seeking some short term respite. Who seek a place of rest and quiet. Of listening. And are confronted by the brute reality of long-term effects to the volume of quietness that the desert concedes.
Listening is our sense of security and when we’re in a relatively quiet place, we can hear all the information in and around us. At a primal level we are listening creatures, our survival depends on it. In this sense, real listening is about being vulnerable. In Tantra, vulnerability is considered the root of deep inner strength.
The desert climate is harsh most of the year. The flora and fauna have thick skin and live off very little sustenance. Cacti and Yucca trees have very shallow roots and are often uprooted in high winds. They lay in the middle of the road for months. People just drive around them. The dense thick prickly skins of the Cholla, the crusted skin of the black collard lizard, and the dry brittle bark of the Juniper tree.
The weight of the boulders, balanced on precarity and definitely, offer us extreme insignificance. An intimate depth. What Bachelard calls immediate immensity. A material guide to the depth of immensity inside each of us. There are few places on the planet where your sense of time (geologically speaking) and space (scale) are so harrowingly humbling.
Perceptions of space and time are critical to our understanding of the world. Alex Veal writes, appreciation of a particular place is dependent not only upon sensory interpretation of space, but also on our awareness of the passage of time. We build an architecture of resistance to uncertainty.
Steven Pinker describes our understanding of space and time through it’s intrinsic connection and limitation to language. The end of a string is technically a point, but we can say Herb cut off the end of the string, showing that an end can be constructed as including a snippet of the matter adjacent to it. The same is true in time: The end of a lecture is technically an instant, but we can say I’m going to give the end of my lecture now, construing the culmination of an event as including a small stretch of time adjacent to it.
In this sense, it’s hard to grasp where anything begins and ends out here. When building becomes building. When dwelling, dwelling. And this seems at odds with what’s important about being out here, or out of here.
Spring has arrived and Kilo an Emmanuel have a dinner at the dome site to welcome it. The smell of spinach and salmon crepes seems to travel through the entire valley and the elders show up just in time to eat.
Overflow seating at the meeting this Monday. Garth says its the first time it’s ever felt like a real community. Different groups report on their individual projects. Covering Nicodemouses house, fixing the yurt, planting in the spring garden.
Welcoming two new members to the group, Pamela asks them for two weeks of silence, to listen and acclimate. Garth asks them to dress less militaristic and adorn themselves with color and sun necklaces. They own guns, which makes everyone a little uncomfortable and sparks a conversation about defense, revenge, us vs. them. No conclusion is met.
Everything seems to come alive and in bloom in the first week of spring including a large rattlesnake who has settled in the rock next to our material pile. She is sweet and quiet so we let her be for the meantime.
We tare out the winter greens from the cold frame and start seedlings.
We continue framing the roof in the top residence and prepare for the concrete slab flooring for the bottom. Steel will be welded from the floor to the extending I-beam for the first half of the cantilevered deck.
It feels like summer has arrived two weeks into spring with temperatures over 100. Nicodemous is back in town and working on camouflaging the community kitchen on the landing.
Peter Shire comes by the site for a visit. He feels the modernist sympathies and says we should leave the exposed walls as-is.
We spend a week building Garth a claw foot tub with a pit for fire underneath. Out initial direction of stone masonry is diverted mid-project. Per Garth’s request we use chicken wire and ferro-cement to house the tub in a boulder like form.
HBI construction promises us left over steel from the new super-Walmart building in town.
We spend a few days in Tijuana looking for a cheaper solution for fabricating steel ledged window frames.
It’s not even complicated
Is then traded with other properties like this and then there’s an internal commerce that’s backed by real stuff. It’s not backed by debt. It’s not backed by IOU this and that.
It’s backed by real stuff. This is real abundance we have. We’re in a desert facility, you guys are in a desert facility that’s much more tropical and so we can make things that you can’t.
And then I already am setting up the shipping lines between those things. This isn’t a small thing.
So the money comes to me and I do projects as my own corporation that benefit this and are called to me research and testing. I’m paying you guys to use your land so I can go ahead and build your water system so that I can make sure your water system works so I can sell it to the other people right?
And then all of a sudden you guys don’t have any money coming through the land, you’re literally being paid just that little bit of amount right. You have sole proprietorship and you’re way out of the tax loop, you’re way out of the radar of the governments, you’re way out of the radar of any people politically who wouldn’t be interested in what you guys are doing.
Ya know, that’s the way to do it.
You guys gotta understand, if this is gonna be a place for families and for children and stuff like that, there will be a group of us out there that are actually in the conspiracy, that are at that level of the game, and ah, we’re out to protect.
And we make a buffer around that so that children can play, and so that everybody can find their zone.
If you guys engage in that system then we need to make an invisible barrier between this community and the rest of the world, and each of those communities we do business with will do the same thing, and they’ll be a dozen of them and they’ll trade between each other and the abundance stays within a bigger macro community. Right.
We’re finally gonna change the world.
You need to have a billion dollars behind you to do that right?
but it’s a billion dollars in fake money and all my friends know this.
They all know it’s fake money, cause it’s all digital right?
Nothing is real.
It’s not even backed by paper.
It’s not backed by anything.
Just type it in and…
When the government makes ten million dollars it sends ten million dollars in treasury bonds to the federal reserve and then because of the debt and the interest that they know they’re going to get, they can say that this money is real. Because we know they’re going to get the money back.
They can make 90 million in one 10 billion dollar transaction out of that succession right.
So right now 97 percent of money in the economy is not backed by anything, not even on paper, not even paper the feeling of it.
So we realize now that mathematically that has reached the limits of what it can work any more and it’s gone so far past it that it’s collapsing and they’re scrambling. If we put our attention on that collapse then we will collapse with it.
What we’re doing is a little more robin hood, we take what gold that they have and we plant it here, it grows trees.
The enemy doesn’t see a tree to shoot, they see the one that’s their enemy. We’re playing the same game as them.
So ultimately some of that world is going to collapse into that chaos and it already is. And another part of it won’t because they’re actually smart enough to pay attention to it.
That’s the, this would be the model that would work.
You guys wouldn’t actually raise any money. You guys would be an operation that gets paid to have experiments on your land that happens to be your water, that happens to be your houses and stuff like that.
And these are the folks that are ready to build the new world, whether they like it or not.
And it means non-debt economy. Real economy backed by real actual stuff. Right, that’s one of the first things.
but the first thing is that all of the data all of the science is playing to the spiritual vibe. At the center of any solid community there’s like the, ah, there’s, well like Garth or there’s the teepee, there’s some kind of place ya know where you meet and you love each other.
And the first energy you create before you dig something out of the ground is love between each other. So you get that going first, and then you dig a well.
We got love and water.
Then we make sure that we have sewage, so that we can then expend that energy. Then the food sources are built all around those things. Right.
It’s nature, It’s not even complicated. It’s simple.
Because ultimately they want it to be a fall back, a fall back position to the whole war of it all. To be able to go and take their women and children to that place.
I like that.
It sounds like Garth, that you’re not born ahead of your time, that the times are catching up with you.
OK, good. So I don’t have to make out a budget?
What you do need to do is give me a list of exactly what you are intending, right.
Your ultimate intentions have to be spelled out very clearly. That’s not a budget, that’s not how to do it. That’s what it is.
That’s, what does it feel like first? Maybe what does it look like to a certain degree, but it’s really going to be like what at the corset desire of the community, what are the things that, we already know the basics, you know, you know we need the things to survive.
What does your heart say?
What is that spot that you see in the future that everyone is in that place of real harmony, real joy, it actually works.
And how do you feel at that moment?
Suck that into now, and feel that moment and describe it to me.
That gives me the creative vision I can then turn that into marketing lingo and that enrolls the concentric circles of creators, protectors, and ultimately fans of the community.
You kind of get to feeling you know, what is this place meant to feel like?
What’s the song?
What’s the mood?
And then I write lyrics on that mood right.
So, the bed.
The jam bed.
That is something that Garth has been sitting on for thirty years, that’s why he needed to be that ahead of his time. He’s gotta know that feeling so deeply, thirty years in that he inspires me and other people to write about that feeling right.
What that is, and that causes into creation, because words are used, logos, becomes conversation. Becomes the perceptual reality of other people. And they start wanting to participate in becoming tangible realities and their perceptions are deepened.
Eventually a million people want this community to be exactly what you want it to be, but in the meantime that’s what this is.
More snows have come and gone. The site was covered in 4 inches one morning, but it never really sticks around past the afternoon besides some shadowy enclaves scattered around the property. Covering and un-covering the exposed wood of the roof and remaining skeleton seems to take up most of the days in the past few weeks.
A wake of two to three hundred turkey vultures fly by over head, quite low, and drift through the valleys migrating north. A nice break from the recent fly-bys of what we believe to be the local sheriffs helicopter that have become more frequent in the past months. Emanuel assures us to not become paranoid. This seems like good advice as the helicopter passes by again, back and forth, close enough to make out our lunch on the back deck.
- Dragons claw
- Nutritional Yeast
We set two cement footings for the main structural beams supporting the roof on the top residence and prepare the back deck of the bottom residence for the cement slab. Silicone and expanding foam are used to seal the wood to the rock. The boulders expand and contract, just slightly, from day to night, and the sealant accounts for this elasticity.
Moses’s four boys, from 7-12, are staying on the property for a while. They bring an incredible energy and everyone seems to be gelling cohesively for the moment. They spend the day studying wtih Marie, working a bit with Garth in the gardens, and watching 80′s flashback films in the teepee.
Solar Man Dan arrives to mend our solar set-up, as it’s been inoperable since mid-Dec after an arc in the converter shut it down. The system is back up and running in an hour and the batteries have survived a cold, inactive winter in the cave. This lifts morale, Solar Man Dan talks about equalization.
- Mark Wigley
- Constantinos Doxiadis
- Seismic Feelers
- The dilapidated dwelling
- Lee Gamble
- Dorris Norton
At what first glance looks like someone has cleaned the sunroof window installed in the top loft, turns out to be there is no window at all. Which we find down in the rocks 20 feet down in the caves. Although this proves a good test for the stability of tempered and laminated glass, we learn a costly lesson in wind dynamics. Solar Man Dan explains.
If he doesn’t choose.
I don’t want to live with him.
You can love everybody, but doesn’t mean you can live with them.
Not right now at least.
And we’ve offered that healing.
And that’s what it is.
We’re a cult of dynamic harmony.
If we are to be accused of you know whatever, which I’m sure we have actually. but you know, it’s ridiculous, to insist on certain standards, it’s basic.
He’s the kind, it’s growing into yourself. He’s the kind it can happen too. He’s got so much data, so much information. He’s like a library all that knowledge just sitting there, going to waste. So this isn’t a dump.
Well, Happy Martin Luther King Day.
So it’s up to him, but personally I don’t want to put up with him, and he is feeling this reception is unpleasant.
[Yep, I knew that's all the problem was on this one]
So that’s a good sign.
[The tank needed to be fuller for this one to work]
[Spirit, Spirit, Spirit]
Fire and the water man.
You know it’s just being.
Because part of it is hearing it and speaking it, you know I talk a lot in the bus, I was accused of being a lunatic because of it. And you know your half right, I’m a happy lunatic. But to speak it out in front of others who feel, you have spiritual intelligence. So you understand. It works just by that telepathically.
But that’s tenderizing him for this next stage, of silence and listening. You know it’s vital that people, if there’s a requirement to living here, it’s bring your best with you. You know when Garth told me about the stone carving that he had seen of Moses, that I haven’t seen yet, he was drooling with praise, how skilled, how detailed, how beautiful, and that thrills Garth.
So to have somebody come who is already humble, so we can be true elitists.
You know, anything is possible, and thoughts are more potent than any weapon. I just turn myself over, there’s a way to deal with it. I don’t know what is is, but I know there is , there is.
You don’t think it’s possible to be healed?
In the etheric realm. I mean there’s seven realms, or thirteen, I’ve heard many numbers I don’t know, but atomic radiation is very heavy, very damaging. To me, it’s kind of like reverse laser. Laser can be benign, but atomic radiation is note benign.
[This one looks like she's got a tattoo of a bird on her neck]
oh from the bite?
What does the F stand for today? Fear?
No, Fairy witch.
After a really mild December, winter is now in full swing and taking its toll on productivity. Three days of rain the last week of December stalled work and we were forced to wrap the exposed decks with tarps. Below freezing temperatures has now turned the rain to snow and 30mph winds blaze through the caves and feel like a swarm of bee stings on any exposed skin.
We are visited by a couple from nearby with a newborn, they have interest in becoming involved with the land and land trust. They are tall, good looking, and eat only raw food. They are looking to start a religious organization, and have settled on a name, bylaws, and diet, which feels a bit cultish, but Garth asked what isn’t a cult?
Ariana arrives in the middle of the night and interrupts a screening in the teepee of Radical Attitudes, the Architecture of Douglas Cardinal. Her keys are locked in a Saab down below, with the car running, a dog, two cats, and two rabbits trapped inside. They share the full reign of car, so breaking the window is not an option. Steve is able to open the lock with a wire.
We have a group meeting in the teepee the next morning.
- NEW YEAR’S BOWEL MOVEMENTS
- OFFSET PRINTERS THAT TIME FORGOT
- WHO’S CULT?
- THE RELATIVITY OF BEING COLD
The land has thinned out in the past month as most guests have retreated elsewhere as the temperature dropped. This with the exception of Moses and friend. They arrived in a large RV and are now parked down below on the landing. Moses is from a family of healers from Egypt near the Sphinx. After his family became popular for their services the government grew suspicious and they are now exiled to the states. He is looking for somewhere to bring the family and continue practicing.
Moses has been training one of the donkeys and built a beautiful saddle and carriage. He yells out loud in deep voice, Mush, and a few other words which i believe are egyptian. His first time riding in the carriage the donkey took off at full speed and headed for the boulders. Just when he thought he would have to dive from the carriage they hit a bush and were slowed by the entanglement.
We adobe the first exterior coat on the top loft of the upper building. Not sure how this will hold in the weather, as there is currently snow covering the property. We leave for the weekend to LA in a blizzard.
We wouldn’t of been able to have windows at that angle.
Then also avoiding one big huge span.
It’s just eighteen feet by twelve feet.
I know but just breaking it up.
Same idea as the back, there’s this flat rock and then a little flat thing here.
Then between that we can do fake rock, cacti.
Fake rock, cacti.
So the front will have the same effect with these plateaued embankments.
Well, you know all I can say is that I’m just going to have to trust you and if in the end if we’re totally horrified we’ll just have to take it apart and push it in the rocks and try again.
So it’s all on you.
You’ve got to get it good.
Well, what is your idea of good?
Well, I think I’ve been pretty clear, that I don’t like to see straight lines, or stuff that doesn’t occur naturally, parallel lines, when I was doing Frank Lloyd Wright I liked parallel lines ones going back and forth.
What about angular lines.
Well you know.
I think for us its thinking about these other styles of rock formations where straight lines and the round intersect.
Yeah, that’s what we’re interested in too.
I don’t think that’s the issue.
Make that happen and we’ll all be on the same page, try not to make it look like Disneyland.
That’s the thing.
OK now, like you see this square corner right here.
You could take the corner out and cut it back.
Now that’s an interesting way to go, going against the concept of…That’s brilliant.
So your thing is the box or the rectangle?
I don’t like straight lines is my thing, and I don’t like straight lines going like that.
What if this did this, so here’s the boulder, here’s the place.
We’re talking the front or the back?
We’re talking all the edges of the house, instead of straight edged, would be rounded.
Yeah but see, like this relates to this here, but if you take the edge out a little ways then brought it back, it no longer relates as a…
Or if you went like this you know, and you took it down like that.
You know your building might end here but the end of the wall is here.
I think it depends on what angle you’re looking at it from.
All of this you know, if you do have a straight line somewhere give it a little class.
It can have a couple of edges you know coming out, so that it’s not just psssffttttt.
You know, you kind of know what I want, and what I like, and I’m trusting you guys to make that a reality.
Is this a bad idea?
Straight lines and angular.
You’re monolithic bread oven.
It’s got a rounded hole?
It’s a square hole?
It’s a square hole with a rounded hole of the original form inside it.
but anyways, that ah, that thing is ah…
Kisses five dollars
The finished form of the bread oven, the wood gets piled here.
OK, well, let me see here.
Again, same concept is true, on the back edge of it, it could have a form like that.
And you can make a shelf so you have places to put things, I mean there’s no where for people to stand.
Oh no, we are, we’re going to build out the side.
And you don’t want to put bushes right next to your oven.
The front of it, is ah, a big face, with two eyes and a nose, and a sun.
And trippy things you know.
So there are things you can do you know.
Back to art school, you must of cheated on the test, straight lines ect…
And it might be a good idea to rake that trail out, so you can’t tell cars have been up there.
Is there anything else we should do?
Just ah, do what you can do you know?
We arrive up top at Garths to present a revised drawing. We show Garth the drawing traced from a 3d model of sketchup. The drawing shows a 3/4 view of the two houses. This drawing represents a shift in direction from the initially proposed arched rebar form on the upper house, and a finished squared-off back to the lower house. The front of the upper house is now imagined with a series of two steps between the top loft and the ground in front. The front wall will continue along the same proposed wavy perimeter of the rebar dome except instead of rounding all the way to second story the there’s an added step half way up, where the roof flattens off for 3 feet. This will enable planter beds for succulents at the two different levels and allow for skylights to sit along horizontal planes.
Garth’s main concern with building projects on the property is keeping them hidden and in harmony with the natural landscape. This is most generally expressed as a wish to mimic the forms of boulders.
- I need to get the fuck out of this yurt ASAP
- This situation feels so weird
- And it lasts like 12 hours
- Maybe because I grew up around that stuff
- A pho esoteric cult outside of Berlin
- No shelter for 24 hours
Garth has always expressed an extreme distaste for geometrically rigid architecture. Neighbors have approached him in the past to get advice on their building projects to which he has redesigned each and rounded off any straight angle or edge. The architect, a neighbor nearby who frequents the property, recently finished a house with a zip zag roof adjacent to Garth’s, he ignored Garth’s idea to round off the roof. Driving with Garth through the valley he recalls all the neighbors who have received advice and ignored the ideas. He expresses disdain for the appalling Sante Fe knock off’s with pho stepped roof facades.
- They told us not to bring tents
- And it rained the entire time
- There was a life raft with 8 of us
- Was this a one off?
Garth is upset about the change of plans. He says it’s beyond ugly, and looks like something out of a magazine. He takes a pencil and draws rock shape facades over the squared off surfaces. Some of these extending over the edge of the roof like stage props. We debate the principles of mimicry and harmony in nature. We talk about Garth’s teepee and it’s shape in relation to the valley. We think about ways to texture the exterior walls with different rock facades.
We return to our site a bit deflated but discuss some potential compromises.
Ah this is wonderful watermelon.
Who wants watermelon?
Nice and crispy.
Oh I love a crispy melon.
I’ve been noticing how much the rind is like the cucumber.
See the watermelon is similar to the cucumber on the interior.
You know they pickle watermelon rinds.
They do? Well it comes from the same family.
They also juice them.
I’ve read many things about the healing effects of watermelon rinds. This whole area here, to juice this is super high in chlorophyl. The skin itself is packed with chlorophyl. You can juice it, you can drink it. Just because when they pickle it like that, it’s a sign that they know.
I’m gonna show you some cutting techniques.
He’s gonna carve a bus out of it.
You just like..
Oh no, the boss is going to get upset.
Now, you cut here.
Now try that slab.
How’s that cut?
[Crickets, chewing, smacking]
So this deer got hit by a car and was on the side of the road, and his guts were out and his intestinal tract was bright green, it was like fluorescent, he must have eaten the whole grass that day.
His whole intestines were green, there was no other way. I hope I look like that.
That makes my throat itch.
Anyway, did you take all that stuff up there?
mmm, delicious piece.
[Crickets, chewing, smacking]
I don’t like the white part.
Do you think the rebar will go in the quad?
Well, we can carry it up the hill.
Well maybe we’ll wait until we get the cement and we can take it all at once. It’ll just be a few days.
She wants the rind too.
We got lots of chicken food for tomorrow.
I float my boat.
I float my boat above my float.
I thought that was your big pipe.
That’s how they make the blocks for cutting.
This looks like a sword.
The tongue dub.
That’s how the dogs dub each other.
Rub a dub dub.
Dosen’t this make it look like a plane just flew by. You know when the suns out and a plane flies by ilke that.
Well you gotta go broooooommm. Then they’ll think it’s a plane. Neeeoooowwwww. or whatever I can’t make the noise.
It’s a silent one, all you can see is the shadow.
I didn’t know there were silent ones?
I guess there are.
Like SUV prius.
I was looking under that bucket, under the bear bucket.
Does the bear bucket have food?
Beware of the bear.
Is my dog sleeping somewhere?
It’s a low bass flute. Shakuhachi style.
It has an Incan reed.
See how it goes from..
Did you see Tomas and Amara tonight? They came and dropped off the clay. So it’s up there if you guys want some.
Oh they did?
How’s the amphitheater coming?
They’re making benches and fireplaces.
He gave us some glaze for the inside of the oven, some blue glaze, high fire glaze.
A glue glazer.
A blue glazer.
A blue blazer?
Can you say that again please?
A blue blazer.
A blue glazer.
You might say that, I’m a glue blazer.
Where did you put the bags?
Does anyone want to try a glass of this wine? Black wine?
Watching the sunrise at the landing out front of the burm, waiting patiently for Brian the welder to return today for the installment of the three steel beams, as there was a consensus last night to stop where we were at and return early.
- Somewhere to disappear
- Geologic folly
To welcome the addition of a the new material, 2 F-16 fighter jets fly by in tight formation over the valley.
Neil has a softball size bite on his neck after sleeping in the adobe house down below last night. Garth says it could be the kissing bug, which supposedly if you’re allergic, can cause a few days of bed riden nausea.
The next morning the welders return and the four of us including Aaron, lift the first beam into place and tack it on. A bit easier in the light of day. The welding continues all day and into the night.
- Counter top transformations
- Impregnator 5000
- Roy walford
We level out the space next to the pizza oven for the cold-frame. It feels cramped as we lay out the shape and we decide instead to dig a four foot hole near the water faucet.
So that particular raw oil form, it doesn’t naturally occur?
I think it naturally occurs, hydrocarbons are formed, you know deep within the earth. I believe there’s natural fission reactors in the crust of the earth, maybe hundreds of them, small reactors, and those neutron sources can transmute things, and I believe they’re messing with the elements, combining things in a way, into what we call hydrocarbons. I think there’s nuclear processes that are generating that and other stuff.
I believe water is being primarily made, I don’t think water is only recycled, I think it’s also generated, it’s created I believe within the earth, also by nuclear processes.
Like literally? Hydrogen and oxygen fusing?
So that means the petroleum products are contaminated?
I’m not saying they’re radioactive. They’re not, generally. What I’m saying is they’re created by nuclear processes.
But not that there’s some crazy illuminati conspiracy, with nuclear react…?
No, no, no. All natural.
You know giant subterranean oil factories?
No, all natural. A natural phenomenon.
Oh, ok, I can see that.
I mean why not.
There’s plenty of evidence that there’s nuclear fission going on within the crust. There’s obviously decay heat happening from decay. That’s what heats the earth. That’s generally accepted.
The core of the earth is just left over gravitational energy, you know friction, from the thing pounding together. It’s also decay heat from radio nuclides in the earth, you know uranium, and all it’s daughters.
Really? That’s in even more than the uh, um, you know just the core lead or copper?
You know the belly just swirling around creating the magnetic field.
There’s a bunch of shit down there and who knows what kind of mix it is. Metals and compounds, who knows. But I believe that Uranium is one of them, definitely one of them, being heavy..
Would tend to go down and convect around with all the molten shit down there
[Yelling, Spirit, Spirit]
and as time goes on Uranium tends to enrich
[Spirit is going to the bathroom]
U238 tends to decay off U235 comes predominant, so eventually you get, you know, fissile orientations of material, or water, some moderator might come in
and it has, there’s a place in Africa, where a natural reactor was formed by the surface and blew shit up, and there was plutonium around the place, from transmuted Uranium. And it’s a natural reactor, all the daughters all the radio nuclides around it are naturally formed. Geologically it’s pretty cool..
Anyway, if that one is on the surface, there’s hundreds just below the surface, or more, who knows.
Throughout the whole planet.
That’s quite a few.
Yeah, got some wacky ideas.
The phenomenon they call El Nino, you know the weather phenomenon. They say it’s because the oceans getting hotter. The ocean surface temperature is hotter over the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific, blah blah blah.
So that heats the air and all that. Well, what’s making the ocean hotter? They’re not going back to that. I think it’s probably a series one or fission reactor cycling the power level and heating up the ocean. Maybe not directly, but through subterranean passages heating it indirectly.
Right, well the solar cycle is at it’s peak.
Right, but it’s not 4 years it’s 11.
So El Nino is a 4 year cycle, so it’s something else.
Anyways, don’t listen to me.
Heh, sounds cool to me.
Well, that’s a deep subject
Within moments of arriving on site, Manifest, wearing a furry thong, bedouin boots, a tiny leather vest, and conical sedge hat, is in the back seat of my car with his new baby pigmy goat named Dada. Bins of vegetables piled on my roof from Shiloka’s recent bounty in LA and a giant watermelon in my lap for today’s chicken duty snack. Manifest and Josiah are back on site post-burn and have invited guests from the Bahkti fest at Mental Physics. Bliss, an incredibly sweet and positive woman living in a blue motorhome is now parked next to Shiloka’s painted bus caravan of himself, a partner who deals in rare asian antique furniture, and a few dogs.
Shiloka works with tinctures, and brings a pure white sage and lavender to Garths, a drop of each on the wrist, then a rub to your third eye and the back of your neck. A few girls from London are staying with Josiah and cook raw chocolate pudding with chia, raw coco, some kind of leaf, and stevia from their stevia farm back home.
We run into David the oracle at his Starbucks post, he is leaving soon and will be missed.
We are stalled out on site, waiting to hear back from the welders. To their advice we purchased 8 12″x12″ 1/2″ steel plates which will get bolted into the rock with 3/4″ all-thread in each corner. We will then weld the i-beams into place on the plates. Barr lumber is still going out of business and we bargain with Kyle the liquidator to get 3 of their lumber racking beams.
Andrew pays us a visit, who is a character actor and solar electrician in the area, whose voice booms through the valley as he talks us through the entire wiring system in 5 mins. He considers our situation “primitive” and decides he is too busy at the moment to take on new work. We are still in doubt that we can wire the system ourselves. He may be able to help in a few weeks. Meanwhile the panels sit on the rock and collect sun with no output.
Now would you like a demonstration? I have it pretty freaking visible.
You got a DVD you wanna show us?
No, It’s electronic, I have a laptop. I open it up and..
Oh god no, mm mm, no thanks.
No possible way huh?
Yeah, I’m not into the screen anymore.
She’s gonna run.
Screen Visualizing, well you know it could be just pumped auditorally into your ear drums.
Well, actually as your talking I’m able to…
You know what, say the words that make things happen that’s right.
Well, I’ll describe it.
So you know what a sugar cookie looks like?
Yeah, I love them.
Ok, so you know what those very special ones that come out of those christmas packages that are more flowery?
They have a funny name?
And they also have holes in them, some of them.
They’re flowery looking but they also holes around them sometimes.
Um, ok, so
Now, picture a…There’s holes in them, and if you look at the holes up in the night sky, they’d be black holes. So we’re picturing that the darkness in these sugar cookie shapes are going to be the deep bass of this song, which is now going to process itself by showing us different shapes of that cookie as well as a bigger center of dark openings. Holes in the middle. Now this video…
Yes, pulsates. The color is bright yellow, the black holes in the middle happen periodically in every one of the little leaflets that happen all the way around that outside edge, which are kinda of like tones or pedals.
And so then a little hole wold be around one of those pedals, and as that moves as the movie proceeds, it comes outward, concentric circles, and it’s not a linear path, the change doesn’t happen linear, it happens concentrically.
It comes from the middle and comes from the outside in.
Sound happens that way, it comes out of donuts and speakers.
You know who did this so well? Is ah, Pink Floyd in the Wall.
Did you see that?
Oh my God
You didn’t see that one?
No I saw pieces.
There’s this segment, I didn’t know what I was watching, it totally captivated me, floral ah things, vines, music. And it was totally erotic.
right, now I remember seeing that portion and it was moving and that was definitely video feedback. That was virgin like fractals. Cause it appeared to you organic right?
The pulsation of the light was not computerized. It was video feedback and that’s what what that stuff I’m talking about is.
A feedback loop.
Any feedback loop is anywhere.
I bet, the Atari had that.
Sitting in Garths Tee-Pee talking about oil painting techniques at a critical juncture in Rabbits post-acid morning, he asks if we are “GD’s” and spends the rest of the day personally unraveling the mystery of our interest in building. This nor the full length title lend itself well to a proper desert pre or post fix:
- Piano Man Dan
- Pool Man Dave
- Solar Man Dan
- Thomas the Potter
- Stefan the Mechanic
- Kenny and Laurie the Elders
- White Dog and Journey
- Eggman and Turbo
A few days from the blue moon at pappys watching poolside covering harvest moon, costumed in orange felt ponchos, cowboy boots, shirtless and sun hats.
We return from LA after Olga’s dinner and performance at the squat.
- Mint julips
- Burgoo stew
- RC Cola
The bank takes control in 2 weeks. The front house will be painted gold.
A day in the van with no AC and a pile of free wood from Meredtih raising the van floor 3feet. I think about the show at Mateos apt.
- Ann Romney
- Politics of space
- Hannah Arendt
- Trampled Earth
- Dreamers of Guantanamo
- Housing Strategies
Not sure what awaits at the site for the morning. Waiting to hear back from the welders. Trying to connect with David or Josh. David has left his post at starbucks and headed north to the OC. We text for the first time.
Guys I am in OC 2nite – back sometime 2morrow
Josh is new to the property and visited the site last week. He’s from Los Feliz and working on a film about information and the way it travels.
We talk about digital natives, alienation, Socrates and the market, Adam Curtis. He is really stoned. He is staying for a bit doing “research”. Hope he has endured the week.
That’s a nice healthy one.
Yeah, I’ve been watering it.
I think I saw one.
A thick one?
That sounds like a big pop, that sounded loud.
It looks cool dried out.
I don’t remember if we planted that one there or not.
But it looks pretty cool.
Somebody probably got it from somewhere else and brought it here.
[Crickets, Pocket Noise, Unintelligible]
What do you think?
[Crickets, Pocket Noise, Unintelligible]
I think you’d want it closer.
Well cause we do the dishes right here.
If you want, you could go so far and you could just do a 45, a 45, a 45 and put a spicket down there.
Since you do your dishes over there.
It won’t be that much more pipe, cause whatever pipe would get ya here would go down there.
You might need one a half more pipe.
And then later on you can just split it go into the houses?
See cause, if you’re coming like this, and then you 45 and 45, and you wanna put a thing here, and then tee off here and just 45 and come to it.
I like 45′s more than 90′s, and when it comes to the spicket I use a 90 straight up, and then a 90 threaded for the spicket head.
Otherwise, underneath all them boulders is 45′s, I don’t use 90′s.
When I was working with Randy over there on his line, I didn’t think he was gonna be that anal at all about his pipe not being slightly bent at all. So I just did a nice even curved thrench where it was easy to dig, and believe me I was hitting a lot of rock, and he out in 90′s. So every section is a SLAM, SLAM, SLAM.
Then he blamed me for doing a crooked thing.
Well, you guys left your rebar over there.
It’s always been too hot to grab it, we’re gonna grab it soon.
I can do it tomorrow morning when I get up.
Where do you want it?
Right here is fine, we gotta start bending.
You’re gonna get the bends tomorrow.
There’s gonna be a wall there?
Yeah all the way back.
Cool, then you got your stairs going up to that rock?
We haven’t really figured out that space yet.
That’s a different section that I noticed.
Cool, it’s coming along.
Laverne, but Shirley
That’s what it’s called?
I thought so.
I love that show.
Well yeah , they did Happy days and Squig Makowski.
That was his name, they always call him Sqiggy.
You gotta pay attention.
We return to the site after two days in town working on the rig for the solar. We run into Rabbit at Home Depot, he says Don chased the mother bear and its two cubs away and fired warning shots. She chased him back down the hill and he retreaded.
We arrive to the caves and our site has been trashed. Terrorized. Everything is smashed, leaking, eaten. The cooler is emptied, every bin is torn open, jar lids are open and bulk foods line the cave floor. The tool bin is ripped open and a hole poked through an oil bottle leaked oil all through out the tools. Our library box is full of cayenne pepper and trail mix and our books scattered among the mud and food. Sternberg Press’ The Nightmare of Participation has two bites through it, Annie Albers: On Design is doused in olive oil and quinoa, and pages are torn out of Graphic Design History in the Writing (1983-2011). A claw hole through our first line of defense, the air horn, is the final insult.
Seems like it was just the two cubs. There are paw prints across one of our mattresses in the cave, they are smaller, cub size.
Morale is low.
We talk to Garth about the bears. Supposedly bears have become more active in the area in the last few years. They come down from Big Bear looking for food and water. Growing population and environmental changes push them further south every year. Our new neighbor Scott Pinkmountain said a trailer nearby was terrorized last week. The previous tenants walked in a bear in their kitchen, sitting on her hind legs with a jar of sugar in hand.
We spend the rest if the day cleaning the mess and counting our losses. A baby scorpion is seen gathering Chia pellets under the solar batteries, which were fortunately spared. We decide to sleep down in Nicks house for a few weeks.
Brian and Patrick the local welders come by to survey the site for the 2nd level support beams. We’ll need help Welding these to the rock. They are optimistic.
- Marine fade
- Food pyramids
- Preamp technology
- Clan of the cave bear
- The uncook
Quasi-vegan afro futurist
Quasi-vegan afro futurist was the last thing I heard before leaving L.A. on the way back to the desert. Almost a month away for summer travel, New York, Massachusetts, Montreal, Sturgis, Salt Lake City, et al.
First things first. A 90 degree turn for Garths large storage fridge that hasn’t cooled anything for years. Organizing canned goods feels like the right logical progression after lifting a 300 pound cement sink into place. Sean “Manifest”(there are too many Seans in the world), has really taken a hold up top and seems to have filled the power vacuum left in Nick’s wake. He has been kind and bossy so far but seems to mean well.
We spend the morning helping with the kitchen and then return to the site. Decision is made we’d be more productive making a to-do list at the saloon. We run into Ted Quinn, Andrea and friends, and watch the local open mic night.
A momma bear and cubs were recently spotted on the property, and smashed up our closest neighbors Emanuel and Kilos’ camp. We sleep up top in Josiah’s rock since he’s still away for the summer. It’s stuffy; we talk about ventilation and pivoting windows.
The next morning we feel inspired and give a much needed redesign to our own temporary kitchen in the caves. Space and level ground are limited so this takes most of the day but we are rewarded with ease of use and falafels. Some scrap wood from the junk pile makes a nice two-tiered shelf and a slab of granite, the perfect counter top. A cinder block and wood shelf to hold the bulk jars reminds us to think about Enzo Mari. C’est la vie to the days of bins, and living in fear of the ominous critter. Mice, lizards, snake, bear: the kitchen is now open.
In the morning we clear dead cactus from the upper area, and Manifest shows us his Bedouin tent compound, boasting various tapestry hangings, half a sword, an inch-long splinter he once had, and wings from a dead owl he found on the side of the road preserved with sage in a pelican box. Webs, networks, the ‘burn’, global communities, and how technology is continually squandered by corporate interest.
We pack sandbags the rest of the day back at our site.
Some of it is brand new and never been aboard, all right, so you gotta find a place for it.
Well, there’s only a certain amount you can fit in there.
I used to think so, I’ve been living in that place for 33 years, and uh, overtime I stop I get more stuff.
Do you try and narrow yourself down to the least amount of things needed to survive?
Yeah, I’ve tried, I haven’t succeeded very well.
Where do you live the other 4 or 5 places a year?
Well, I spend most of the winter down in Salt Lake city, Some of it in Quartsite…
(Want some trail mix with Goji berries in it?)
Then in the Summer time I go uphill and or North..uh, depending on how far north. Last summer I went up to Bellingham Washington, and then most of the summer in Southern Oregon. but I don’t know what I’m doing this summer.
It’s been about 42 years.
What was the reason for living nomadically in the first place?
Well, ah, buying a piece of land just didn’t seem like a viable position.
Cause the government can always come and take it away from you. They’ve gotta give you a little notice, but the government can come and take away your land at any moment. For any reason or another reason.
They could do the same with the trailer right?
Well, they gotta find me. A piece of land you can’t move, they know right where it is, and you’ve got to pay taxes on it every year, of course you gotta pay taxes on a vehicle too, but if you don’t like the taxes where you happen to be, with a piece of land it’s just tough shit, with a truck you can just go somewhere else.
Do you ever miss having a home?
I have a home, it travels.
Uh, At times I get…It was a little worrisome in the first couple of years, but now I only get nervous when the truck doesn’t work right. When I’ve got some reason that I can’t get the truck up and moving, then I get real nervous.
Yep, that’s home. When I close that door, that’s my fortress.
(You ate all the hazelnuts, I picked them all out for you)
Do you run on solar?
No way you can store enough power to run that vehicle. Even with the best small car you can only go 100 miles. You just can’t store enough to go very far. Now if somebody gets hydrogen really viable, then that might be a way to store enough power. You know you can turn water into hydrogen, but hydrogen is hard to store. You know you see gases in these steel cylinders, well hydrogen will leak through the steal. Hydrogen just can’t be stored economically.
Does it need to be used immediately?
Well, not immediately, but like I said it will leak out of the steel of a cylinder, and the only way you can store it is under high pressure.
(I already fed everyone)
There are some kinds of compounds that you can store Hydrogen in without the pressure but I don’t know anything about that, and I don’t think they are viable options yet. if they were we’d be using it. But ah…
Can you work out on the road?
Work? Quit cursing around me.
How do you make money to keep running?
Well, I get a little bit of money from social security, and I have a little bit of money from a stock portfolio that Momma left me when she passed on. Up until that I ah, most recent thing I did was manicure pot. And I made pipes and did carpentry work and just about anything that came along.
But you have to stop to work?
(It fell in the water dish)
Well I don’t actually spend much time traveling, probably not more than 5 or 6 days a year traveling. If I get tired of the scenery, I just got find some more wallpaper. Traveling is too expensive these days with gas what it is. Garth, your half and half is in the freezer. It got a little warm in the car, so I stuck it in the freezer to give it a quick chill.
Well it’s been a lot quieter since we moved all those roosters.
By the spring?
Well they probably won’t last long unless we get them some shelter.
A day in town to collect containers, tools, smoothies, etc. Not sure what awaits at Garth’s. The trailer off the 62 is sold and the old guy has a brand new line up, shined and price to roll out the door. Someone else’s black mold. It’s 104 degrees, the heat from the open windows feels like waves of electric blankets. Hit by a cannonball. The summer heat wave begins.
Red Red and Krissy are in town from Montreal for the next few days. This week: leveling and grading both floors, building up the back retaining wall on the lower house, drilling holes and testing the steel supports, sneaking frequent swims at Mentalphysics, setting up the temporary office and kitchen in the caves, digging, grunting, farting. Had to call the bank to authorize the charge from Backwoods Solar, 1000 kilowatts on its way to Fontana, for pick up and install next week. Stop to send Jon PDF’s from Natural Sisters.
- Dirt and document
- The void
- Yves Klein
- Your bobos are contained and held
- Small talk as iambic pentameter
- Freud and Jung
- The crack and the darkness
- Moral barometer and regret
- Nancy Sinatra
- Myth of security
- Loose ground
- Like it messy
Sneak swim at Mentalphysics.
Flute music and deep breathing on rocks overlooking the sunset over the valley
First night up top in the rocks. Found half of a steel barrel in a cave down from the site which someone welded a cross beam too at some point. With Nick’s leftover grill fragments we start tonight’s compartmentalized hobo stew. Bagged the first sand bags and made a bench for the night. Spirit is chasing rabbits. Stars light up the sky, the light from the fire flickers on the interior rock walls. Baby potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, and brussel sprouts in bags of foil on the fire.
- Montreal reminiscing
- Tibetan Book of the Dead
- Gaspar Noe
- Jalal Toufic and the angel in the room
- Affective reality
- Catastrophic molting
- Terry Riley
A small cute brown mouse is present in the new kitchen. The plates are in the cave. Jung claims heartbreak is essential. Talk of trying to finish the library at the same time as the living spaces.
Kale with roasted sweet potatoes, yogurt and cauliflower, and potatoes with onion and taiziki.
First night in the caves
- Seduction of text
- Concrete narcosis
- Wit is for strangers
- Gates of Babylon
- Cradle of europe
- Subjectiveness of passing
Again, you guys laugh at me but…
You laugh at me.
When did we laugh at you?
When I told you I could move this fucker.
You know Neil the one thing about my memory, is I’ve got a brilliant memory. I could tell you what happened 3 weeks ago.
What happened 3 weeks ago?
Are you testing me or are you just trying to be a smart ass?
I’m genuinely curious.
A lots happened, what day.
This day 3 weeks ago.
So today is?
No it’s Wednesday.
No it’s Tuesday.
Yesterday was Memorial Day, Monday.
So Tuesday 3 weeks ago.
Yeah, Tuesday 3 weeks ago.
That was the week of the party, with the rave, remember?
No that was 2 weeks ago.
2 weekends ago?
No it’s not, we had the Yoga this weekend, last weekend we had nothing, the previous weekend we had nothing, and the previous weekend we had the party.
What’s the date on that?
That was the 15th or 16th.
That’s 2 weeks ago.
Yeah, and the party was?
I don’t know, on the 3rd?
Oh, yeah so 3 weeks ago.
I’m telling you guys I’m not a fucking nut.
We never said that.
Sometimes I wonder.
You just asked me to prove that I wan’t a nut, so yes you were.
You’re testing me, and you’re fucking gonna get it, you’re gonna make me fucking dinner.
So the merchants of rock lore…
You gonna sit here all afternoon?
Let’s go pinch some of Emanuels wood and make a fire.
There’s a bunch over here.
- Hammer Drill
- Spray Foam
- Chisel Bit
- Laser Level
The morning conversation suddenly took a turn towards form and function. As Lance hazily described Adolf Loos connection to the Bauhaus, Garth offered, “I like froo froo“.
A 100 galloon and a 55 galloon is
more than enough for just the three of you
A day shitting?
And you empty it out?
No, it empties itself out.
So if the garden is back here below, then you would want to do the methane digester right above it?
The first tank has a drop sleeve in it, where it comes from your toilet, you lift that drop sleeve everyday and whatever is in your toilet you collect in the drop sleeve. Put a little bit of water in it, slurry it, pull up the sleeve and it runs into the first tank. Then drop your sleeve again so it stays pressurized and the gas stays in there. Then there’s a pipe with an angle up that’s in the first tank. The gas pressurizes the top of it forcing the material down. As the pressure builds up in the tank, it forces the slurry up the pipe into the second tank. The second tank has a pipe coming out of it, but again, it’s also at an angle. Your taking the excess slurry from the bottom of the tank. Slurry goes up this pipe it falls into this tank, it gets into this little pipe and the excess weight pushes it out. And literally you’re left with compost on the back end. It’s a very passive system. At the bottom it releases organic matter and you just spread it out into your garden.
And how big are the two tanks?
I think 50 and 100 gallon, but if you can get a 200…ones the size of my cooker, you know. You need a bigger tank like a 200 or 100 and I swear you’ll never have a problem. If you just do 50 and 100, you’re gonna max it out and you’re going to have to wait a couple of days.
Do you have to add anything for the smell?
I put a bacteria in it, the bacteria eats the shit, dissolves it, breaks it down, and separates it into methane gas and organic matter
And those are sunk underground?
The tank is not open on the top it has a little pipe. It’s fucking easy.
So you think we could run the shower down the back of this rock?
Again, if I put a shower in the back of this place i would put it…The thing is you could put a nice big water tank right in here somewhere, if it’s on the high side of your house you can have the shower on the low side and you don’t need a pump. A water tank on that side of this rock, and you run the pipe right down the floor here, and you put the shower down there. Then the gravity is down, water pressure is high and grey water is flowing out the back of your house.
You could have a porch right here and the shower on the back of the rock, and just stand and bare yourself to nature.
That’s why I don’t like working for rich assholes. “Can you move it this way?” “Can you move it 6 inches back?” Sure. Just leave me alone for 4 hours
We believe in you
I moved a rock 6 inches to make somebody happy
That’s a nice flat one
Now, we’ve gotta do the real tricky push, if I tell ya what i’m doing you’re gonna freak out. Cause you guys don’t know. What I’m doing is I’m pitching it at an angle
So you wanna pivot it out?
No, No, No. Watch, you guys are learning. I’m not tipping the rock or pinching it, I’m pitching the angle of the push to get more leverage.
Distance plus force, then I can just teeter it one way or the other
[Wind interference, digging]
Thursday March 1st, 2012. High winds, low 50′s.
Mixing bentonite clay, Terra, water and cement, for finishing the foundation of the rocket mass oven inside Nicodemous’s house.
[ ]…If your house is on the ground, and you have one flood your house is wrecked, all the wood will just buckle right off. That’s your house that you’re trying to maintain. I mean that’s not even rain or sun damage. A house out of the ground, you have 60% of your heat hitting the house because you have a big flat painted wall. Trying to cool a house on the land, in this environment is ridiculous.
Doesn’t matter how much the wind chill factor is because you can’t protect the heated surface from the wind. When you’re on the ground, any environmental storm, Tsunami, whirlwinds, you’re done, on every level.
What do you think about strawbails?
In the desert.
The problem is with strawbail is you think you can build your house quick…You’ve got three factors why I’d say no…Rodents, biggest population of ground ferrets right here. The other thing is everything else is dry, literally you have to bring the straw in, it’s not even from the area, and that’s another good reason I don’t use it. Because I have to ship it in to where I’m using it. Doesn’t matter if it’s a wall that big, it’s still a trailer. I’m telling you, when you think about it, two people to manhandle each bail off the truck, then you gotta peg it and put it in. Two of you guys could fill 40-50 sand bags in the time that you’ve gone to fetch a load and pegged like 5 bails. Literally you’d be driving, most of your cost would be gas.
If we wanted to build some sort of like open studio structure…like a box…
You could do that too, this doesn’t have to have a roof on it. You could build just a wall.
But what if we wanted some sort of rectangular enclosed space.
Rectangular? Your always into your fucking squares..Again, square doesn’t work in here..
OK, WHOA, just stop. Hear me out.
When you’re working the environment, when you’re an ecologist, ok, or a permaculturalist, show me anything that nature gives me that’s a square, or rectangular…That’s the problem, the second you build a square out here, it’s gonna look like a fucking box, it’s gonna stick out like a soar thumb, because nothing is fucking square.
If I look at Garth’s teepee I can go..spccceeuuyyu..speecceeuuyyuu..sticks out like a soar thumb.
but then ok, so what if we want to have some sort of open space…
Again, I can show you a hundred different ways of building a shape, and I betcha if I go up there the shape is already 2/3 constructed by looking at what you have been given, and that’s what I mean, you walk in there and you’re like..Gonna build my house here, that’s where it’s gotta be..but literally you turn around and there’s the rocks and there’s the arch, and a little wall here. That’s what happens. 9 out of 10 times people fixate on something so square…It’s not concrete.
In the mindset of looking for something organic, you walk in from the city and boom, and you keep telling me square and I’m gonna kick your ass if I walk out there and it’s looks rectangular…because it’s gonna be like, that’s your house. Nothing in nature is square…this whole shape the way it’s built, wicks water , because it’s round. What’s the strongest symbol in any cycle?
No, it’s not, its a circle.
What builds culture? What builds unity?
What about triangles?
Triangles are not on this plane, ok, they’re all elevated stakes for the stars…
What about Buckminister Fuller?
You’re living in a triangle.
I know the guy, and he studied plants, and that’s how he got the idea for it. because all plants on a basic level when you look at them, it’s poly. I mean you can go polytetrahedran, crossahedran, all these shapes you think they’re square,..go and look at them, they’re the most elaborate stars. There’s certain types of rock formations that are block, the only reason why that happens is from water going through them and breaking out layers between layers, and that’s all it is…the whole…the Asian mind about permaculture…the reason why I say the Asian mind, is because a lot of the things I’ve learned are built in to asian culture, so we’re trying to learn ecology, but nobody wants to look at China or Japan, I’m telling you, on a level of stupidity, there is so much out there that is 1000′s of years older than us, and then you go and you have a look at it and you’re like why is this like this still..and I’ll tell you, it’s because it’s been built with nature in mind, Wind and water are the two factors that you have no control over, and you go and look at Asian design , everything is round, and you look at their tiles, round and a half round, round and round…They know that wind wraps around you. If you have a square surface, you hit angles, and you have to reinforce the building against those shearing factors.
You know why I love this house? Because one day I will have an excavator, and right on the flat area here, about 2 meters from the sand bagged wall I’m gonna dig a hole. 10 feet down, and I’m gonna make a whole tunneling system, and you walk through that door, and I could have fifteen hives all built on this hill and you won’t even know it.
How do you retain those?
I dig a hole…I have this whole house ok, this house looks like, a half round here, entrance here, here’s another window bay there, here’s the kitchen over here…So basically, here’s my retaining wall. I go outside and I excavate a tunnel. Ten feet down from the ground. Then I cut out this wall and I start building with sandbags until I get up to eight feet, then when I get to the top all you do is you build your self a plywood frame, with an arch in it, between the walls, and you post. And then you pack your sandbags on edge…knock, knock, knock, knock. and then you compact the whole thing and you pull out your jacks and you go to the next one down. You can make arches, windows, anything, out of sandbags.
And so if your building off of a boulder is it the same principle?
I go up to my boulder like this, I go and put my sandbags right up to it. Boom, boom, boom. Right next to the boulder, and when it gets up to four feet, I take a drill and I drill a whole, buuuuueechhhst. I take a piece of rebar and run it through the bags. Then I build my next layer. bbuuwwwrrrrruupp..four bags up. Drill a hole. Brruupp. Put some rebar from the top down. Done. The problem is it’s only as blank as you allow yourself to see it. Options are open, literally I mean if you get a masonry drill bit and you can drill some anchors, six inches is more than enough. I mean literally you’re drilling into solid rock, I can’t pour concrete that thick. It’s the joke.
Would you be worried about earthquakes?
Again, think about it, when the earth moves, it moves all at the same rate.
This is all retained, because the walls are leaning out. Everything moves at the same rate. If your house is a sand bag wall, and it’s on the ground and the rocks on the ground, and the whole ground moves it all moves at the same rate. The earth cannot compress against itself like that. It’s one shear movement. Put it this way, anything bigger than you in a rock formation, is two tons. So anything bigger, like if it’s the size of this room…How many of you could you stand in this area?
So now you’re talking 50 to a 100 tons, it’s not gonna move. You’re talking about earthquakes. That’s how I’m building this thing, it’s closer to a rock than a house. Because when your walls are compressed and they lean…Really, flat out, you try and move something that’s compressed. Any building they build a footing and they put it on. Compressed building is when they build a skyrise, and then they go and they take these anchors and they shoot them, poooooffttt, poooofftt, deep into the ground, and then they put tension cables on there and they tension the foundation down with bug rubber blocks under it to keep the pad level. and that’s tension. Houses aren’t built with that in mind.
Left L.A. this morning at 8 am, arrived in the desert and ran into Garth at the entrance to Gamma Gulch. He was waiting the arrival of the cement mixer, and said a “crew” is up top and waiting. This provokes interest as we’ve been promised a plaster crew from the valley for the past four Mondays. Nicodemous is at Randy’s again, helping out in exchange for the medium-size Zip Lock bags of mexi-haze shake. A blend of Randy’s. New crew members today including Josiah’s friend Ezra, an earnest man from Portland, tall with short curly hair. The french couple, Kilo and Emmanuel are back from a three month trip to Mexico. They are impeccably dressed and ready to help lay cement. Radically neutral. Josiah, Don, and Zael, are in attendance and trying to dig up scrap metal to unclog the bubbler. The cement mixer finally arrives, just in time as everyone is stoned out of their morning gourd. We lay a scrap layer of cement down on the rest of the exposed roof. Good days work in 4 hours. Garth makes a potato salad for lunch. We take him up to our site and talk about leveling grades, and shoot some video for the Kickstater to raise money for the water pump. We head into town to send emails and work for an hour or two at Crossroads. When we return to camp, Nic is back from Randy’s, and hot to catch the bus to Los Algodones, Mexico to get an absess in one of his molars fixed. Fortunately, we had word from Garth and had well researched the venture. The town of Algodones is 3.5 hours by bus, which leaves from palm springs at 2am. If Nic can catch that bus he can arrive there by 5am and hopefully be seen the same day. Easy plan.
Palm springs is an hour south of Yucca. We talk to Nic about the rocket stoves ups and downs, and a smaller alternative the pocket stove and the importance of the size of the gap of the third chamber in the stove. Palm springs train station is completely empty, not too many people taking the bus from Palm Springs to Mexicali at 2am on a Tuesday. A cop stops by and reassures us the bus is on the way. Not too worry. 15 after 2 he informs us the bus dosent usually stop here, it stops at the gas station down the street. Would have been nice to know. So we chase the bus a half hour south to Indio CA, to arrive again at an empty station, except for one traveler with all of his belongings removed from his luggage and categorized individually by some incredible logic. We drop Nic off at a motel down the street, we opt out swimming in the pool, and head back to Yucca where Neil, Spirit,and I, to avoid ground critters, all crash in the dome on Nic’s bed.
Garth wakes us up at 7am to talk about the roof engineering. Plan sounds good to us. Not enough support from the inside. The exterior scratch coat is flexing and cracking. The mysterious and all powerful plaster crew has again cancelled. So just the desert drifters today to lay another coat on the exterior.
On the ride home to L.A. we listen to a talk about the early writings of Walter Benjamin. Lots of interest in the car. Turns out Ezra is really interested in nostaliga, and had a defining moment in his life a few years ago in Chicago. As his notion of life was collapsing around him, he came upon a song from Final Fantasy VII, which he played as a child, and began to weep. He spent the next few years running an Internet research group about plausible relationships between archetypes from the tarot and music composition. I think he said it failed, but it’s still online, or maybe he just fell out of interest.