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California Bloodlines (GPS Dozen)

HD video - 2016 - 04:56 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 (GPS Dozen), Sugarmann investigates California City’s grid as an incomplete system of data, using inaccurate and expired GPS programming to map and traverse this untraveled land. Through this effort Sugarmann finds the balance of structure and loss that is at the spirit of California City, digitally approximating the social absence of a society that never materialized. 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.