Located on Ironage Road east of the town of Joshua Tree,Yucca Crater is a synthetic earthwork that doubles as a recreational amenity. It was created for the High Desert Test Sites series of events in 2011. This monumental basin stands 30 feet from rim to low point. Rock climbing holds mounted on the interior allow visitors to descend into a deep pool of water.
Yucca Crater expands on concepts borrowed from land art, incorporating the prospect of the abandoned suburban swimming pools scattered across the Mojave. Ball-Nogues has re-imagined these interventions in the landscape through a method of production where the tools of fabrication transform to be become objects for display in their own right.
The plywood structure of Yucca Craterwas originally the formwork used to construct another Ball-Nogues work, Talus Dome, in which more than 900 boulder-sized polished metal spheres were assembled to appear as a monumental pile of gravel. The two projects were “cross-designed” such that the method of production used in the first (Talus Dome) has become the central aesthetic for the second (Yucca Crater).
This approach integrates concept, aesthetics, and production, inviting viewers to reconsider their relationship to art by-products while repositioning them within an alternative economic and geographic domain.
This project is made possible with the support of United States Artists Projects.