Saturday, December 18, 2010

Art Is Where You Find It.

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email notification about a new geocache in the area. It was out beyond the interstate in a forgotten "subdivision" called Sunshine Valley Ranchettes.* The name of the cache was "Dry Well Cache", and sure enough.. there was a dry well there. The cache was pretty easy to find, but I was more interested in this cryptic note at the end of the cache description: "Be sure to check out the "Library" 1/3 mile to the East". Trust me.. there is nothing out there but dust and mesquite, so I had no idea what this was referring to. Being only a third mile away, I was about to find out. I assumed it was some joke, and was probably a pile of old "mens' magazines" someone had dumped out there.

I was totally unprepared for what I found:
A library!

These are the kind of things that make you go "WTF?"

Looking about, I found that someone... or probably several "someones" had put a lot of work into the landscaping and design of this... installation. Because that's what this is- an art installation. I found the clue in the bottom drawer of the file cabinet.
(Below the drawer with every issue of Cabinet Magazine.. the top drawer contained the card catalog).

Not only is there the Library, but a horse shoe pit, (with horse shoes), a cemetary, and even a "Biodegradable Toilet"!

But who put it here? And when? Being the desert, things remain pretty much unchanged from season to season. I would have to wait till I got home to get the story.

Which is what I did. Googling "rebargroup.org", I came face to face (after navigating a few pages), with the very installation I had just been exploring! You'll have to admit, that's quite a story!

So, who is REBAR Group?

"REBAR is an interdisciplinary studio operating at the intersection of art, design and activism."

Be sure to check out their website to see some of the many installations they've done all over the country. Very clever. Very entertaining. The story of the building of the Cabinetlandia National Library (with pictures!) can be found here. I wonder how many people, other than me, and a handful of geocachers, have seen this place? Somehow, I think that's not important to the artists.

*This part of New Mexico was peopled by schemers and dreamers who, decades ago, laid out dozens of subdivisions in anticipation of the housing boom that never happened. If you look at a detailed Google map of Luna County, NM, you'll see the roads, hundreds, maybe thousands, of them. In reality, they don't exist, which is why, if you're going to visit us: don't trust your GPS for directions!

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