Shed on Passive Sands, Archival Pigment Prints, 24’x32″, 2018-2020


I look to the white garden of the dunes.
The vast shadow-suckled sand.
Where the colors flash and never issue
But flow through hidden veinage;
I am naked to the sun.
I let the sun print on me as on the dunes.
With great passion of surrender, I have peace.

-Hugo Seeling (Dunite Poet) excerpt from L., published in Wheel of Fire, Round Table Book Co, Oceano, 1936


While these Dunes often appear as a blank, shifting landscape, Shed on Passive Sands weaves rich histories spanning over 12,000 years – from the expunged Native American inhabitants to the present-day ATV riders – to consider the current politically charged and environmentally threatened landscape of the Oceano Dunes. These are the Dunes of the Chumash, a people nearly erased by the Spanish Missionaries; the Dunes of Cecil B. DeMille’s ancient Egyptian The Ten Commandments movie set buried in the sand in 1923 and currently being unearthed; the Dunes of the Dunites – the artists, poets, nudists, and mystics living in the Dunes during the depression; the Dunes of Edward Weston and Ansel Adams’ sensual perfection; and the Dunes of the current day Dunites – the ATV riders who tear through the endangered plant species and pollute the air.

Through historical research and a desire to unearth the unseen – histories often manipulated, forgotten or intentionally buried – this project aims to pull up a history from beneath the barren surface to populate the Dune site with a more profound sense of place and meaning.