Voices From the Vortex 2021 Responses to giant rock

Located at 34.3328736, -116.3888941, Giant Rock is on Bureau of Land Management property under the auspices of the Barstow field office. Satellite image courtesy of ESRI.
The inspiration for a variety of events and installations, Positional Projects director Karyl Newman selected a few works by artists near and far. The image above captures one of George Van Tassel's many UFO Conventions, courtesy of the Morongo Basin Historical Society.
Voices From the Vortex is our virtual offering as part of the 6th annual #storiesandstewardship cleanup at Giant Rock in Landers, CA celebrating National Public Lands Day on September 25th, 2021.

Melissa Agate

Cynthia Anderson

Jeff Frost

Bettina Hubby

Jessica King

Michaela Strumberger


Melissa Agate - I have a special interest in, Rocks. On my second visit to Giant Rock I found it dark and uncomfortable, in comparison to the uplifting energy I felt there on my first visit three years earlier. I can’t say exactly why that might be but nature can be like that. I am a photographer, musician (sanso-xtro), adventurer, nature obsessor, based in South Australia. I adventure with a medium format film camera mostly photographing geological formations and weird nature. These adventures and photographs inspire my music making process. These four photographs of Giant Rock were taken on my second visit to the area in 2018 on Kodak Portra 160 film with my Mamiya 7 medium format film camera. Field audio recording from Giant Rock: www.bit.ly/GRVortex

A California resident and poet for over 40 years, Cynthia Anderson has published ten poetry collections, most recently The Missing Peace (Velvet Dusk Publishing, 2021). Her poems frequently appear in journals and anthologies, and she is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. Cynthia is co-editor of the anthology A Bird Black As the Sun: California Poets on Crows & Ravens. She studied at the University of Pennsylvania as a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and received her BA in Literature from the College of Creative Studies, UC Santa Barbara. She makes her home in Yucca Valley, California. www.cynthiaandersonpoet.com

Bettina Hubby (b. 1968, New York City) earned her MFA in 1995 from the School of Visual Arts in New York and moved to Los Angeles in 1999, where she currently lives and works. Hubby’s work has been widely exhibited including solo exhibitions at Klowden Mann (Los Angeles), The Erotic Heritage Museum (Las Vegas), and Lora Reynold Gallery (Austin). Group exhibitions in Los Angeles include Klowden Mann, Santa Monica Museum of Art, LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division), ForYourArt, Side Street Projects, and The Center for the Arts Eagle Rock. Hubby and her projects have been featured in numerous media outlets including ARTFORUM, The New York Times, T Style Magazine, W Magazine, NPR, Los Angeles Times, Curbed, and LAWeekly. Hubby’s practice is wide-ranging, including collage, painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, video, VR, photography, soft works, and art happenings. While humor is what grounds her practice, she explores themes of ritual, construction, identity, community, and the constantly changing notion of self and other. In addition to her individual practice, Hubby is known for her extensive collaborative projects and curatorial work—engaging diverse communities and often existing in settings that challenge the conventions of exhibition spaces, celebrating collaboration and resisting easy categorization. In alignment with the spirit of the artwork and HubbyCo’s charitable ethos, the studio donates a percentage of all sales to organizations that aid in the collective good. More details on Googly Eyes: https://www.hubbyco.com/googly-eyes

Jeff Frost grew up in a remote corner of Utah hiking with his grandfather and has lived in southern California for the last 22 years. Time and sound are his two primary mediums, often expressed through a number of sub-mediums including painting, photography, video, and installation. Nearly all of the above are combined into short films exploring themes on the spectrum of creation and destruction. Frost’s work has been shown at the California Museum of Photography (UCArts), Museum of Art & History Lancaster (MOAH), Museum of Sonoma County, Palm Springs Art Museum, the Center for European Nuclear Research (CERN), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and many others. In 2020 his video art projects, California on Fire and GO HOME won numerous awards at international film festivals including the Clermont-Ferrand Intl Film Festival and ÉCU The European Independent Film Festival. He was selected for the Nordic LA residency at the ACE Hotel & the FBAiR Los Angeles residency programs in 2019. He performed a soundart set at the Desert Daze music festival in 2019. He was both a producer and subject of the 2017 Netflix docuseries, Fire Chasers. That same year he contributed to the National Geographic series, One Strange Rock. He has been featured in numerous online publications and TV interviews such as PBS Newshour, TIME Magazine, Artnet, and American Photo. He has spoken at the Seattle Art Fair, University of Southern California, Palm Springs Art Museum, Orlando Museum of Art, Snap! Orlando, and photoLA.

Jessica King is a San Bernardino Photographer, Painter and Found Object Artist. She has her Bachelors of Fine Art with an emphasis in Sculpture and a minor in Women’s Studies. Jessica studied under Richard Johnson at California State University San Bernardino graduating in 2003. Jessica runs FaeryWing Designs, a successful photography business with specialized custom photo shoots, photo journalistic assignments, as well as professional media event coverage, like the Inland Empire Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards. She is Director of Photography for Mompreneur.buzz and creator of MompreneurBarbie. She spent her “Covid-time” as consultant for the Beatnik Lounge, in Joshua Tree, California which included running their virtual operations, social media and hosting the monthly virtual shows. “Giant Rock is significant to me because I grew up hearing stories about how the aliens were here to help us. My piano teacher Wathea and her husband Winfred Brownell were avid searchers for the unknown. I’m positive they came to the Giant Rock UFO Meeting held out at Giant Rock. When researching the Thompson’s (my father’s parents) original Jack Rabbit Homestead I came across Giant Rock. I’m mesmerized by the way time and space is held in this sacred space.”

Michaela Strumberger is a theater designer, visual artist, porcelain maker and budding gardener based in Berlin and Graz. During the reign of Covid-19 she teamed up with the art collective Mnky Bizz Group for the Le Pooch Perdu project. Her own work often defies traditional artistic labeling and can be viewed at michaelastrumberger.com.

Curated by Karyl Newman

Positional Projects is a project of Fulcrum Arts’ Emerge fiscal sponsorship program.

©Karyl Newman, Founder & Artistic Director || P.O. Box 905, Joshua Tree, CA 92252 || 760.820.9499

Created By
Kaz Newman