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short film follows life at the experimental 'wagon station encampment' by artist andrea zittel

art21 — a nonprofit dedicated to connecting audiences to the artistic process — has shared a short film that shows life at ‘wagon station encampment’, the ongoing artistic endeavor of andrea zittel. first covered by designboom back in 2012, the project comprises a series of sleeping pods adjacent to the artist’s home and studio amid the rugged landscape of joshua tree, california. twice a year, when the desert climate is mild, zittel invites artists, hikers, and researchers to stay in the encampment, facilitating social engagement and personal exploration. blending both communal and private spaces, the encampment reflects a ‘sci-fi pioneer aesthetic’ that zittel was innately drawn to. ‘everybody has their desert fantasy,’ she says, ‘my particular fantasy was probably living on an alien landscape.’

andrea zittel
all images production stills from the art21 ‘extended play’ film, andrea zittel: wagon station encampment
© art21, inc. 2015

 

 

the art21 episode is beautifully filmed at the ‘wagon station encampment’ site, and shares the various experiences of guests temporarily staying there — many artists who are drawn to the desert landscape for personal or creative reasons. they speak to a shared sense of community that exists among guests in cooking together or going on hikes, but also to the solitude, individually, and immersion in nature that each of the sleeping pods provides. ‘I watched the full moon arc across the entire sky over the course of the evening,’ one guest describes. ‘you’re inside, and you can see the environment framed by andrea’s designs, really consciously and intentionally.’

andrea zittel

 

 

in the video, zittel also offers her own insight about her work, and some of the aesthetic sources that have informed the project and its progression over the years. ‘when NASA tests habitation on mars, they have a station in the mojave desert, and I always thought that was so interesting, that this is the landscape that was chosen to be most representative of another planet,’ she says. ‘I think the aesthetic of these was, sort of, a sci-fi pioneer aesthetic. and I don’t know if that’s my aesthetic now, because it’s constantly changing.’

andrea zittel

andrea zittel

andrea zittel

short film follows life at the experimental 'wagon station encampment' by artist andrea zittel

short film follows life at the experimental 'wagon station encampment' by artist andrea zittel

short film follows life at the experimental 'wagon station encampment' by artist andrea zittel

andrea-zittel-wagon-station-encampment-art21-video-designboom-1800_1

short film follows life at the experimental 'wagon station encampment' by artist andrea zittel

short film follows life at the experimental 'wagon station encampment' by artist andrea zittel

short film follows life at the experimental 'wagon station encampment' by artist andrea zittel

short film follows life at the experimental 'wagon station encampment' by artist andrea zittel

 

 

project credits: 

 

art21
producer:
ian forster
consulting producers: wesley miller & nick ravich
interview: ian forster
camera: zach voytas
sound: ian forster
editor: morgan riles
artwork courtesy: andrea zittel
special thanks: cara despain, micol hebron, tiernan hebron, and vanesa zendejas
theme music: peter foley

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