And we are back on the road! This time, for are are traveling for some human-made scenery: the open air art gallery or East Jesus, in Slab City.
We have written about Slab City before: it is a squatter community on contested land by the Salton Sea. The name is derived from concrete slabs left by a long-gone military base. If your camper is parked on a Slab, it likely means you have been a resident of this City of wanderers, artists, anarchists, survivalists, and misfits for a long, long time. Maybe back to the original migration to Slab City. After all, Slab City was established when an earlier squatter community was evicted from land outside of Palm Springs.
What has evolved here is a culture of independence, mixed with a scavenger spirit, open to whatever the desert may bring. This is best expressed in the artwork of the community. Works are mostly composed of scraps collected around the encampment. Everyone is welcome to walk about, explore, and engage.
East Jesus Art Garden
The East Jesus Art Garden is a collaborative effort. The Garden features the work of many different artists all working with found materials. As expressed in the community’s website, the Garden focuses on “low-tech solutions, unresolved theories, non-linear advancement, and creative reuse.” While, occasionally artists will focus on a single material, a constant theme of the garden is the recycling of discarded goods. Even in the middle of the desert, East Jesus artists have plenty to work with. The result: create whimsical structures, art cars, and interactive sculptures.
To cowboys’s delight, we park, nose to nose, across from a grounded aluminum plane. All our time riveting has nurtured a fascination with other aluminum vehicles. These two have so much in common!