wilderness and weather, architecture and itinerancy,

etymology, devils, and storm-chasers….


Occult Land: Glamour Terroir



Glamour: dazzling influence. “To cast the glamour over.”

Occultus: hidden from view, concealed, secret. Not apprehended

     by the mind, beyond the range of understanding.



     Occult Land  is a blown out theater of the wild. This is rubble and icons and footage; plastic, sequins and lamé. It is crushed and sharp and dirty. This is the new wilderness. One that addresses the nomadic life and death of architectures, biologies, and ecologies. Like a Wild West show, it offers up a stage of the frontier. This is untouchable nature, a nature in extreme. No longer a merely sylvan experience with human facing animal and botanical, Occult Land represents a contemporary and global wild.

     Tornado, hurricane, earthquake, and tsunami: the storm is a wilderness system that connects earth to cosmos. It occupies the in-between space. It becomes super-natural, a metaphysical force that humans understand on certain levels but still cannot quite predict or control. We sit transfixed as the Weather Channel doles out the story with images on repeat. Does the storm illustrate chaos or is the storm an ordering effort? In theatrical terms, the storm yields a tragedy. In agricultural terms, the storm is like a plough. Tornadic wind churns up life and land and architecture and turns it under, says rebuild, start again.

   Wilderness=Occult. The wild is the unseen, unknown and uncontrollable. The impulse is not something that we grasp with hands or bodies or minds. Humans are not on top of the wilderness hierarchy. This is not simple predator/prey, food chain stuff. The conflict of the human role within nature still exists…humans are a part of wilderness but at the same time, humans are fighting the wild: civilizing, building structures, domesticating. Humanity revels in absolutes: the natural world is either embraced as idyllic pastoral or demonized for its potential to produce catastrophe.

     With a nod to 2012, another apocalyptic year, this is an invitation to look and consider the destructive force of nature, the transience of life and structure, and the dichotomy of the human condition within the spectacle as both creator and viewer, subject and object. The apocalypse will be televised…you know it will.  This landscape is dressed up in beauty and terror and it invites the viewer to look long.  The picture is not moving. Life is fleeting, transient, itinerant, but it is also cyclic. A staging ground or an aftermath theater, these works iconize the spectacle and the start again moment.



Glamour: A variant of the Scottish gramarye, alteration of English grammar (medieval), any sort of scholarship, especially in occult learning. Derogatory until the 19th c.  Magic, enchantment, spell. Imposture, trick. By the middle 20th c. associated with the feminine, alluring beauty, sexuality, Hollywood.

Terroir: of the land.

Terre: earthen.

Terror: quaking with fear…ref. earth-quake