MOISTURE (Phase 2) Claude Willey, Deena Capparelli, Bernard Perroud, Mark Tsang, and Adam Belt
In November 2003, soon after escrow closed on property purchased exclusively for the MOISTURE project, a group of artists and researchers initiated a multi-pronged water-retention and garden project. The group, headed by Claude Willey, Bernard Perroud, and Deena Capparelli, with additional support from Mark Tsang and Adam Belt, rapidly developed plans to work on the 15-acre parcel of uninhabited land, just Northwest of Hinkley, California. After a series of meetings, the group drafted designs for the positioning of a 'gabion' structure, in the site's main wash, to be used in the collection and diversion of water to a series of circular gardens. The main goal: to create a subtle micro-climatic shift on the property along with a dedicated multi-year plan for the site's transformation and maintenance. With funding and support provided by the Beall Center for Art + Technology, the LEF-Foundation, and Rain Bird Corporation, new technologies were introduced to the MOISTURE site. A wireless remote sensing system was implemented as a means to monitor the site's hydrologic conditions, and an irrigation supplement, DriWater, is being tested under the extreme arid conditions. With the worst Western drought in 500 years still upon us, 120 shrubs and trees grow on a remote plot of land in the Mojave Desert. A long process continues.