JT Diaries

Ger's daily diaries from the Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency Jul-Aug 2012. - The first five weeks read by the program's curators.

About the Work

Ger's daily diaries from the Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency Jul-Aug 2012. - The first five weeks read by the program's curators Jim Berg and Frederick Fulmer.

Many of Ger's works are very site-specific. It's all about the place and a process. Observations first, interactions later. This artist in residence program represented an exceptional opportunity for Ger to work with the high desert environment for a longer period of time. The time there had a great impact on him and influences are expected to show up in his works for years. It was also an incredibly productive time. It let him create countless conceptual works and ephemeral playgrounds. Steady elements in Ger's body of work created in Joshua Tree are the ever present (even though blurred) borders between nature and mankind in the desert.
He tried to have a very childish and naive view on things and to forget about every single detail he might have already known. It also means seeing Joshua trees as people. He fell in love.


The following seven audio pieces are extracts from these diaries which were recorded in the kitchen of the curators. Further below some more snippets in text form. Most of these diary notes were written in a small coffee shop in the town of Joshua Tree not too far from the entrance to the National Park.
01 - JT Diaries - Monday - Week 12:28 min3.6 MB
09 - JT Diaries - Tuesday - Week 23:04 min4.4 MB
18 - JT Diaries - Thursday - Week 32:13 min3.2 MB
28 - JT Diaries - Sunday - Week 51:39 min2.4 MB
29 - JT Diaries - Monday - Week 52:32 min3.7 MB
31 - JT Diaries - Wednesday - Week 50:40 min981 KB
34 - JT Diaries - Saturday - Week 50:22 min546 KB

Tuesday [Written on Wed] - Week I

First day with clouds. Still hot like hell. Still quite in a good way. Spent writing about the first two days. Too slow with my handwriting. Typing is so much faster. And my fingers hurt. Not used to holding a pen in my hand for so long anymore. Writing in capital letters slows me down, too. But I like the aesthetics more and I also fear with switching to my faster handwriting style it would leave everything undistinguishable.
They say that the Eskimos have over two hundred words for snow. Why are there not more words for sand? For shades of brown and yellow, patterns of dryness?
I read "The particularity of snow's variety must be an intimate reality to those whose daily lives swirl with the need for a certain understanding. We, on the other hand, need more words for forgiveness."
Weather warning today: "Excessive heat warning remains in effect until 10:00PM. Excessive temperatures this hot will make working outdoors considerably more difficult. Sunset 7:59PM". [...]

Saturday - Week IV

[...] Some other notes regarding the sound recordings. Thus, I noticed that most of what I was picking up were cars and planes. Ever-present human sounds. Long waits for these intimate moments of time in between the noise. Like waiting for cracks, voids to appear to let you dive in just for a very special and short moment. To be invited to have a glimpse inside - to see the innerself of the desert. A shy and very intimate gesture I try to reflect very respectfully when it unveils.
"The physical sound resources, regardless of audibility, at a particular location comprise what is known as the acoustical environment, while the human perception of that acoustical environment is defined as the soundscape." [...]

I read "Joshua Trees are fast growers for the desert; new seedlings may grow at an average rate of 7.6 cm (3in) per year in their first ten years, then only grow about 3.8 (1.5in) per year thereafter." - Call me old fashioned but to me this sounds very slow. And it raises one question: How old are you?!
But I promise. I won't ask again and I won't count. Your lack of annual growth rings wouldn't let me determine your age anyway. Just let's be happily together.

Sunday - Week VI

Abdominal cramps.
It's the day when Frederick and Jim read out my diaries.