Basically, I'm a1978 F-150 pickup masquerading as a rusty crustacean wearing a giant Bison Skull on it's back the way a Hermit Crab inhabits the shell of another sea creature.

There’s a hazy apparition off in the distance, a giant bleached headbone lying on the ground in the desert. Upon closer inspection though, it seems there might be more to this story. The skull is perched on the back of that most emblematic icon of western expansion, agriculture and ranching...a pickup truck. But this ones got legs, claws, eyeballs and antennae made out of rusty farm equipment. So what exactly is going on here?

Bison and pickup trucks, we live with both here in Jackson Hole. We have a herd of about 400 animals, with another 4,000 up in Yellowstone. 150 years ago the Great Plains used to be grassland from horizon to horizon, and home to millions of these magnificent wild creatures. It's not anymore. I think about the fact that almost an entire species was eradicated from this environment, along with the native populations that depended them for just about everything in their lives. That's exactly why these animals were exterminated - in order to cripple the native populations and drive them from their lands. A symbiosis disrupted, a human rights travesty initiated. By our government and the business interests that ran it. This piece is directed at those who don’t think about these things in their daily lives, and never learned this story in public school. Maybe the image presented will be unusual enough to make the viewer ask a few questions...and think about answers.

 

Think about the Bison, think about the pickup truck masquerading as a rust-crustacean, think about absence, about conquest and deception. Think about the history of The West. Perhaps thinking about these things will open the door to other thoughts. Perhaps about Why. My goal with this piece is simply to motivate that process to begin.

                                                                       

                                                                

The images below represent a few variations of how the project might be presented

Between the horns the Bison's skull plate can be suspended to create a covered space on the ground below for performances. Modern Dance performances, Music performances, DJ dance parties, Karaoke, Shakespeare, whatever. Looking up from below this canopy, the viewer would see the smooth convolutions of the underside of the skull plate that correspond to the shape of the brain that used to reside in that location.

                                                                                                                   Makes you think...

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The original idea was to create a Mutant Vehicle for Burning Man, but there are even bigger plans for this piece

Since creating the initial "full size sketch model" in 2018 and bringing it to the Playa, the whole world and all of its civilizations have gone through some major changes due to the pandemic, as well as the new "post truth" mindset we see in this country along with many others. One positive change that has happened in the United States,  long overdue in my opinion, is the dedication of a new national holiday on the second Monday in October : Indigenous People's Day. I can imagine this piece rolling down the national mall as part of an Indigenous People's Day Parade... that's the eventual goal.

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The Circus of Longing...coming to a Wyoming town near you in the summer of someday!

(As long as you live in small town Wyoming that is.)

The vehicle has been included in a Creative Capital grant proposal as a traveling circus style dance performance venue intended to travel the state

during a 2 week tour of small town county fairs, rodeos, farmers markets, etc. The original pool of 5,200 applicants in 2020 had been

narrowed down to 46, including the Circus of Longing, though we ultimately weren't selected for funding  Approximately 6-10 projects are usually funded. Our fingers are crossed for next year though...

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Here's a gallery of images describing the process of developing and illustrating this idea, and by the way,
we're hoping you will choose to help fund the construction of this crazy thing.

 

You can make your tax deductible donation through our partner organization, Dancers' Workshop. Here's a link:
http://dwjh.org/donate

Just be sure to let them know it's for the Circus of Longing/ Skull on Wheels project. Thanks!