The Joshua Tree Trash House: From Garbage to Treasure

The Joshua Tree Trash House: From Garbage to Treasure

Mr. Polumbo, who is a sculptor with a day job as a high-end contractor in New York City, is part of the latest wave of artists for whom Joshua Tree’s cinematic bleakness and fringe Americana are aesthetic attractions. “I like stuff that has a patina, and that you can drive a hand-truck into,” said Randy Polumbo, who owns the Trash House, which also has a bathroom ceiling made from ammunition cases and a loft railing made of rusty mattress frames. Split by the Twentynine Palms Highway, the town’s landscape, with large boulders set off by the unusual shapes of the Joshua Tree, features an unusual local tradition of vernacular architecture of mid-century stone-and-wood shacks. These little shacks later were expanded in the 1970s by hippies and survivalists, who created add-ons, such as rooms made from half a geodesic dome or a Quonset hut.

Mr. Polumbo bought this property in 2007, 2 1/2 acres and a tiny rock cabin, for $120,000. The shack initially had been hand-built as a weekend place by “a crazy-in-love couple” named Bob and Lu Ferry, Mr. Polumbo said. Pennies embedded in the mortar recorded their progress from 1938 to 1942. The house is an early example of a “jackrabbit homestead,” the name for a hand-built or prefabricated cabins that were built on five-acre plots sold by the government for a nominal fee between 1938 and the 1960s, as a result of the Small Tract Act of 1938. In addition to the Trash House, Polumbo’s property includes “The Garden and Grotto of Manifest Destiny,” an artistic installation piece he created that features glowing festoons of Easter-egg-colored rubber sex toys set inside a 1980s-era military vehicle. If you don’t get too close, its “blossoms” look like a fantastic Martian garden. The “Grotto” has been a hard-working art piece: it traveled to the Burning Man festival in August and to Art Basel Miami Beach in December. Now it’s powering Mr. Polumbo’s house through an extension cord.

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The Joshua Tree Trash House: From Garbage to Treasure

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Photo of the Day: Pretty Nervous Waiting for My Taco

Photo of the Day: Pretty Nervous Waiting for My Taco

Photography by: Joseph O. Holmes, NYC

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Photo of the Day: Two Lovers

Photo of the Day: Two Lover

Photography by: Zineb Sedira

Two old lovers
like ships beached
near the sea of love

in a cove off a bay
no storm can reach
lean into each other

not longing for passions past
or listening for a poet’s speech
just leaning, listing each to each.

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An Astonishing Sea Rescue in Incredible Shrinking Sydney

An Astonishing Sea Rescue in Incredible Shrinking Sydney

Keith Loutit, a photographer based in Sydney (AU), is interested in “the little things in life” and his remarkable short films make Sydney look like a model city. Bathtub IV depicts a rescue operation carried out by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service in Sydney. Loutit shot the short film using some amazing tilt-shift time-lapse photography. His tilt-shift photography narrows the depth of field, making Sydney look like a miniature city. The “model city” effect combines selective focus, the angle of light, and speed of playback to trick the viewer into thinking they’re looking at footage of a scale model. Elevation is also an important factor. By positioning the camera above the subject, the viewer looks down upon the scene, which dramatically enhances the effect.

Loutit’s work plays with focus, vantage, perspective and the viewer’s perceptions of reality. In doing so, he challenges his audience not to take their environment for granted. His short films detach the viewers from the real world, helping them once again to remember and recognize the old world charm of their surroundings.

An Astonishing Sea Rescue in Incredible Shrinking Sydney

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Photo of the Day: Everything Has a Dark Side

Photo of the Day: Everything Has a Dark Side

Photography by: Joseph O. Holmes, NYC

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Hot Dog: A Tail of Sadly Broken Dreams

Hot Dog: A Tail of Sadly Broken Dreams

Hot Dog is an animated short film by Bill Plympton, the third animation about Plympton’s little Dog. Hot Dog follows Plympton’s 2005 Oscar Nominee Guard Dog and its sequel, Guide Dog. Hot Dog played at the 2008 Strasbourg International Film Festival and at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. It was an Oscar Nomination commended animated short film in 2009.

In this film, the Dog decides to join the fire department. The enthusiastic pup will do absolutely anything to become the fire station’s resident pooch. However, at first the Dog moves with a bounding enthusiasm that isn’t shared by his fellow fire officers. As the inevitable disaster builds, tension is increased by the Dog getting a brief moment of glory as the fire department’s new best friend, but then something more interesting grabs the attention of the fire officers and poor little Dog is left to cope all alone. The Dog is stretched to beyond his reach as he resorts to lapping up water from the gutter to put out the outbreak of another smaller fire, but then gasoline leaks into the puddle. Soon afterwards, the little Dog’s hopes are sadly crushed.

Hot Dog: A Tail of Sadly Broken Dreams

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Photo of the Day: A Lonely Light Misplaced in a World of Squares

Photo of the Day: A Lonely Light Misplaced in a World of Squares

Photography by: Joseph O. Holmes, NYC

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