A sunset Christmas Eve drive through the less-inhabited parts of Coachella Valley has to end eventually. The palm trees mark the seconds of the drive back into town.
Brush and tire tracks in the North Palm Springs desert look extra-tiny beneath the enormous Christmas Eve clouds.
The iconic arrays of white wind turbines at the northern end of Coachella Valley scatter whatever color of light is available—quite a blue situation as the sunset fades over the mountains.
If the past few posts have been dedicated to creating cinematic vibes, I’ll dedicate these big sunset clouds and desert hillsides at the end of the road to a California cult classic: Repo Man.
“Apocalypse” may be a bit unfair to the Bohemian folks who have brought Bombay Beach back, but this spot on the shores of the Salton Sea nonetheless (particularly with the Jeep in the foreground) has a real “Mad Max” vibe.
The welded three-dimensional shadow of a four-dimensional hypercube amongst the desolate setting of Bombay Beach does not seem to fit all that well with a baby.
Today, a completely different view of the tetrahedral sculpture at Bombay Beach that I’ve showcased previously. I really find this thing fascinating; placing it in greater landscape context takes away none of its surreal presence.
I guess there are worse tautological statements to make into a sign.
Fields of wind turbines in the California desert may seem like a futuristic addition, but a recent viewing of Rain Man (from 1988) reminded me that there have been wind turbines in this area for decades.
Even might Jeep Life™ has its limits, as this Wrangler found at Bombay Beach. The Salton Sea is an artificial body of water in a valley that was once home to an ancient ocean, and the result includes these large flats made from the calcium carbonate skeletons of long-dead sea creatures. Though the outer surface may look like a desert—and the dry surroundings might support the assumption—this is really just a thin crust, below which is a lot of mud.
I’m guessing this kind of thing happens regularly, because the entrance ramp to the beach included multiple signs with telephone numbers of locals offering to pull people out if they get stuck—for a fee, of course.
Whether water or earth, the nonlinear and irregular forms of nature are in stark contrast with the Bombay Beach tetrahedron’s straight lines and round connectors.
This array of wind turbines, silhouetted against the sunset and flashing their red warning lights, looks far more sinister in a way that contradicts its positive impact on renewable energy generation.
Though many may call this piece a pyramid, the pyramids with which we’re most familiar have a four-sided base. This structure has a three-sided base, making it a tetrahedron (a structure that I, being a chemist, see constantly.) Speaking of chemistry, my favorite aspect of the structure is the uneven oxidation. Though initially painted white when placed in the salty Salton Sea, corrosion has crawled up the legs, forming a gradient from most-corroded at the water’s surface to pristine at the pinnacle.
Bombay Beach has all manner of contextless structures; why shouldn’t that include a disembodied front porch?
Bombay Beach is awash in two things: (1) crystallized runoff from the Salton Sea and (2) surreal sculptural juxtapositions. Both the rusty pyramid and the sand rail are metal framework structures, but in radically different applications and states of repair.