Terra Incognita

“A frontier can only exist in the minds of those who do not call it home. For not one remote valley or speck of rock has gone uncounted by the inhabitants of that place.”

The American Southwest has long been a place where artists go to find inspiration, and where many others go to escape the pressures imposed by a capitalist society. Perhaps this is because it’s easy to project one's fantasies into the void that the desert’s barren landscape presents. Paradoxically, the American southwest was once one of the most populated places in North America. Today, wandering the dry canyons that the ancient Pueblos called home, one can stumble upon cliff dwellings and other sacred sites at nearly every bend. The US government has also co-opted this region for nuclear weapons testing and for training soldiers in desert warfare, making the lines between military and civilian zones blurry at best. Dichotomies of this sort are not unusual in the desert, where the landscape itself is a contradiction, at once seductive and inhospitable. The photographs in this series are a result of my own search for terra incognita, and ultimately, a way of reckoning with the fact that such a place cannot exist in the modern world.

Desert Shores, CA, 2016

Desert Shores, CA, 2016

Portrait of Chris McCandless, Salvation Mountain, 2016

Portrait of Chris McCandless, Salvation Mountain, 2016

Trinity Test Site, White Sands Missile Base, New Mexico, 2021

Trinity Test Site, White Sands Missile Base, New Mexico, 2021

Scorpions, Joshua Tree National Park, 2016

Scorpions, Joshua Tree National Park, 2016

Escape Sports Bar, Calipatria, CA, 2016

Escape Sports Bar, Calipatria, CA, 2016

Slab City, 2016

Slab City, 2016

Giant Rock, Lander, CA, 2019

Giant Rock, Lander, CA, 2019

Giant Rock, Landers CA, 2019

Giant Rock, Landers CA, 2019

Blue Valley, Utah, 2021

Blue Valley, Utah, 2021

J.W. Bell Died Here, Lincoln, NM, 2021

J.W. Bell Died Here, Lincoln, NM, 2021

Wild West Reenactment Site, Lincoln, NM, 2021

Wild West Reenactment Site, Lincoln, NM, 2021

Balloon, Joshua Tree National Park, 2016

Balloon, Joshua Tree National Park, 2016

Border Marker, 29 Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, 2016

Border Marker, 29 Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, 2016

Church, Landers, CA, 2016

Church, Landers, CA, 2016

Car, Mulholland Dr., Los Angeles, 2016

Car, Mulholland Dr., Los Angeles, 2016

Plane, Joshua Tree National Park, 2016

Plane, Joshua Tree National Park, 2016

Coachella Valley, 2016

Coachella Valley, 2016