* The first time I saw the Boneyard it was in a dream and it looked like something else. The whole world was the texture of sand and the ground was populated by the exoskeletons of thousands of insects. Not familiar or ordinary in scale, but rather the size of airplanes, shorn jets with engines made of soft tissue long repurposed as sand droplets. These husks fascinated me, and I saw no simple way to get inside; to put on my Kafka costume and drive the bug further in the direction it was going. Waking, I decided it was time for a road trip. Not to an empty place, but where the soil is ideal, the weather is eventfully dry, and the sky eats almost everything except for the mountains. The goals were simple: get there, get INSIDE AMARG, and record the concert of materials.
* It is the return that is the confusing part, not that this is just a dream about big bugs in the desert, or secret government property, or the apocalypse, or husks,
It is about infrastructure, it is about feeling out the underthing and holistic simultaneity.
It is and it is not about death. It is about life. It is about the slow fix(action), which is the agent of infrastructure.
* For five consecutive days, I leave Hotel Congress and park at 6686-6748 E Escalante Road, Tucson, Arizona at the northeast corner of the AMARG. After a long journey from Ithaca, the air is warm and I am utterly dumbfounded that indeed the barbed fence at this coordinate location is open, just like the woman-on-the-inside said it would be. No civilians allowed-top secret aircraft storage, and I walk inside. This moment is a strange mix of emotions because it means the success of a long journey and my heart is pounding as I carry my camera towards the gutted bomber planes located at this section of the compound. I do not know how much time I have until I am spotted, perhaps they already know I’m inside. Moving quickly, I duck beneath the bombers, and the serious task begins; I start taking pictures and spinning circles.
Boneyard Concert is a multi-component collage. It is meant to be an experience. The show itself operates as a concert with a run time lasting thirty minutes containing live music, moving image, and a set fabricated from the same material (spraylat) applied to airplanes that are stored in the Tucson, Arizona desert at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG). With material breadth, the inspiration for the Boneyard Concert work is both hyper-specific to my own music and aviation focused family, and another project-angle to explore my fascination with the infrastructure of transportation both for life, death, and storage.
“The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) at Davis-Monthan operates the largest aircraft ‘junkyard’ in the world, a 2,600-acre site with typically around 4,200 military aircraft belonging to all branches of the U.S. military. Some are stored as part of a mothball fleet, while some functioning aircraft are destroyed to comply with arms reduction treaties.”
- Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Airzona
Land Use Database, The Center for Land Use Interpretation