California Bloodlines (139th St)

HD video - 2016 - 05:05 min Courtesy Fourteen30 Contemporary California City is the third largest city in California. Sited on forty square miles of Mojave Desert in the early 1960’s, this planned community was built on speculation of an eastward jag of the then- developing California Aqueduct. The water never came, however, and so neither did the community. What remains is forty square miles of crumbling pavement, home to just under fifteen thousand residents in lieu of the millions it was designed to accommodate. Designed in mile square tracts, this shadow metropolis is slowly degrading back into desert, a vacant landscape populated only by off-road vehicles, recklessly vast bonfires, and the uncontested reports of Air Force weapons testing. The city, as it was planned, is ignored; the blank value of the desert outweighs the structured sprawl of civilization. In California Bloodlines (139th Street), Sugarmann engages California City’s grid work as a physical presence of lost memory, unearthing and resurfacing an abandoned street to discover an incomplete history and unrealized past. Sugarmann engages the present uses of the land by conducting his own weapons tests, using Napalm as a tool for making, and engaging in sad semblances of off-road motor sport. Jesse Sugarmann is an interdisciplinary artist working in video, photography, performance, and sculpture. His work engages the automotive industry as a manufacturer of human identity, accessing automotive history as an index of both cultural progress and social development. Sugarmann has exhibited work both nationally and internationally in venues such as the Getty Institute, Los Angeles; el Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Oregon; the Banff Center, Canada; Filmbase, Ireland; Human Resources, Los Angeles; Michael Strogoff, Marfa; el Museo de Arte Moderno de Santander, Spain; Drift Station, Omaha; Spirit Abuse, Albuquerque; Fugitive Projects, Nashville; the Bakersfield Museum of Art, California; the 21c Museum, Louisville; the Knockdown Center, New York; High Desert Test Sites, Joshua Tree; Space 538, Maine; Southern Exposure, San Francisco; the True/False Festival, Missouri; and both the Paris and Berlin exhibitions of Les Recontres Internationales. Sugarmann’s work has been written about in publications including ArtForum, Art Papers, the Atlantic, Hyperallergic, Art Fag City, Frieze Magazine, the Huffington Post and The New York Times. He lives and works in Bakersfield, California.