The Mojave desert is a strange and intriguing piece of American subculture. Kim Stringfellow – transmedia documentarian and professor of art at San Diego State University, weaves a narrative with haunting imagery, video, art, and stories collected from and inspired by people of the Mojave Desert. Juniper Harrower’s Joshua tree ecology and arts research is featured in her latest dispatch by the talented writer Chris Clarke.
“Given this slender reed of hope, perhaps a bit of deliberate optimistic mythmaking is in order. But imagine those Sierra Nevada clumps of Joshua trees persisting, growing by cloning themselves, flowering often enough to maintain a population of yucca moths. Every so often a fruit with viable seed offers itself up to the local antelope ground squirrels. Every so often one of those fruits rolls downhill and to the west. In time—a long, long time, well after the last industrial farm is long forgotten and the freeways are fossilized outcrops—clonal clumps of Joshua trees appear at the mouth of the Kern River canyon on the floor of the San Joaquin Valley. They populate the southern Sierra foothills. Moth larvae delve the deeper soil of the Valley. San Joaquin antelope squirrels decide to cache Joshua tree seeds.”