Alluvial Albums

Found along Big Rock Creek in Llano, CA in 2017, two family photo albums survived the sand, sun and water in the Mojave desert. Now part of the Waste Wunderkammer, the snapshots, polaroids and ephemera are revealed within the context of little known history of the nearby Llano del Rio utopian experiment. The project is part of MaidenLA 2020.

Concourse C

Selections from the Waste Wunderkammer – Station Eleven Edition – a project for the NEA’s Big Read Morongo Basin 2019 is inspired by Emily St. John Mandel’s book. The collection of curiosities found in the desert parallel’s Station Eleven’s Museum of Civilization, a display of extinct technology housed in the gift shop of Concourse C.  The Mojave version features research into the provenance of each item found languishing in our fragile arid eco-system. 

Selections from the Waste Wunderkammer

Collected since 2013 across the Mojave from Antelope Acres to Piñon Hills, the exhibit includes dirt, dust and research into the provenance of these sometimes rare, sometimes sublime, storied objects along with documentation of their discovery and of course a map. Opening Saturday, August 25th, 2018 from 4-7 PM at the Antelope Valley Conservancy in Quartz Hill, this event is part of Maiden L.A. 2018.

Eco-Scenography at the Wallis

Revisiting my scenographic roots, For Nurture documents the collection of over 300 pounds of furniture pieces gathered from illegal dumpsites in the desert and repurposed as part of my stage design for Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, CA.

Manifesting Giant Rock

Between 65 to 136 million years old, the “Great Stone”, a seven story quartz monzonite rock, is said to be the world’s largest free-standing boulder. Manifesting Giant Rock reveals the local history, biographical information on key characters who lived nearby, events at the site, related publications and contemporary audio stories.


DEHSART >>trashed<< backward began in 2013, capturing, mapping and collecting illegally dumped trash to encourage a new view of waste as a resource through community engagement and collaborative on location assemblage interventions. The project was generously supported by multiple grants from the Antelope Valley Illegal Dumping Task Force.

There are no upcoming events.

#storiesandstewardship2024 at Giant Rock

Date: September 23, 2023

Time: 8 AM - 12 NOON

Location: Giant Rock, Landers, CA

Art in Place | placekeeping | Public Humanities | storiesandstewardship

GRCU 2023 Poster NPLD

ON ALL Day: It Was Not ALL Flowers…

Date: May 6, 2023

Time: 10:00 - 16:00

Location: Llano del Rio Horse Barn

ON ALL Day 2023

Situated where the #llanodelrio inquiry began a decade ago, #OnAllDay 2023 reflects on the mysterious graffiti, “It was not all flowers she had on her mind” discovered on the west interior barn ruin in 2013. Join us in our first-ever public walk of this historic site featuring augmented reality experiences, artists’ responses, and the opportunity to create your own on the Saturday following May Day, 5/6 in Llano, CA.

Earth Day of Service Clean-Up & History Walk

Date: April 23, 2023

Time: 09:00 - 13:00

Location: 165th Street East and Avenue W


Join us in honoring the 108th anniversary of the Llano del Rio colony and Earth Day, putting an end to the waste we tire to see, followed by a walking tour of the historic ruins.

  • Clean up from 9 AM – Noon.
  • Meet off 165th street road to silo.
  • Complimentary lunch for volunteers.
  • Followed by a guided tour of little-known Llano ruins.


Created in partnership with:


Element Society

High Desert Keepers

Positional Projects

Yale Club of Riverside-San Bernardino

On Arté France

Start date: May 23, 2022

End date: December 31, 2022

Location: ARTE channel's "Invitation au Voyage" arts/culture show

Voices from the Vortex 2021

Start date: September 25, 2021

End date: September 24, 2022

Location: ONLINE


Giant Rock attracts and inspires in scale, stories and a consistent need for attention through stewardship. Naturally, artists follow the magnetism of the site and some of these works are curated in Voices from the Vortex, an online exhibit created to accompany the annual #storiesandstewardship clean up for #nationalpubliclandsday 2021 on September 25th.

Featuring installation, performance, poetry, photography and video by artists from near and far, the exhibit includes:

Melissa Agate, Cynthia Anderson, Jeff Frost, Bettina Hubby, Jessica King and Michaela Strumberger

curated by Karyl Newman.

Alluvial Albums – FOUND: 34.495, -117.8454

Start date: September 1, 2020

End date: September 20, 2020

Time: On All Day as part of Maiden LA 2020

Location: Llano, CA and Online

Art in Place | Online Exhibit | placekeeping | Public Humanities


One of many alluvial fans found in the Mojave, Big Rock Creek carries soil and sediment from the San Gabriel Mountains and waste dumped along this desert route north into the Antelope Valley in powerful flash floods. Most of the time Big Rock Wash is a deep, dry, wide trace of these short dangerous events. Located in Llano, CA the arid ephemeral creek is tied to the history of Llano del Rio, a socialist utopian experiment just east of the procurement site from 1914-1917.

Part of the #wastewunderkammer, the Alluvial Albums contain family memories, snapshots, polaroids and ephemera, each altered by sand and water then baked in the searing sun.

The online project shares the current state of the photo collection, research into content and history of the area. Visitors may hike out to the wash and perhaps find an experience or project souvenir. Bring a bag to collect trash or treasures.

Alluvial Albums is part of Maiden LA 2020, an inclusive network of art related happenings throughout Los Angeles County taking place September 1-20. Despite the pandemic, over 75 Los Angeles artists, collectives, curators, and organizations have delivered an exciting array of projects both live and online, interactive and socially distanced. For the complete calendar of events visit the Maiden LA website where you can search for projects based on neighborhood, venue information or project type. There is also a comprehensive map and downloadable PDF.

Alluvial Albums Procurement Site
Alluvial Albums Procurement Site, Karyl Newman 2017

World UFO Day T-shirt Offer

Start date: July 2, 2020

End date: July 5, 2020

Time: now until 8:00pm 7/5

Location: Online Sale

placekeeping | Public Humanities | storiesandstewardship


Today is #worldufoday2020 grab a hand screened cotton ringer T-shirt based on 1950s or 1970s vintage designs worn at George Van Tassel’s UFO conventions at #giantrock. Use code worldufoday for a 15% discount at

Part of proceeds will help with Giant Rock clean-ups and volunteer activities.

Offer ends Sunday, July 5 at 8pm.

Shirt vendor and child at 1950s UFO convention
Life magazine feature image by Ralph Crane

Video capture of a woman wearing a UFO convention t-shirt in the 1970s
Capture from footage in Huell Howser’s Giant Rock episode on California Gold. Source unknown.

Brick x Brick at the Women’s March Los Angeles

Date: January 18, 2020

Time: 8:30AM - ?

Location: City Hall

Art in Place


As the West Coast organizer for Brick x Brick I invited new and former Bricksters to build a wall against misogyny at City Hall.

BxB is based in NY where they make actions in front of Trump properties and once upon a time took over Time Square with a dance party. I participated in this action at Trump International Hotel at Columbus Circle 2016 and people were moved to tears as we stood silently in a line for an hour holding hands while passersby stopped to read our brick jumpsuits covered in patches with the horrible statements 45 has made about women.

For the past two years the West Coast Bricksters made actions at Trump’s golf course in Palos Verdes, but many in our group wanted to take the action to the Women’s March in downtown Los Angeles.

We are met in Eagle Rock at Brickster Bonita’s place for breakfast and to suit up at 8:30am. Then we headed downtown on the Gold Line aiming to arrive at City Hall to build a wall during the stage presentations at 11am.

We found a spot and began our silent action inspiring some tears, some thumbs up and some applause from those who stopped to read our wall.


Annual #storiesandstewardship Giant Rock Clean Up

Date: October 12, 2019

Time: 9AM-Noon

Location: Giant Rock, Landers, CA

placekeeping | Public Humanities | storiesandstewardship


For the 5th annual fall clean up, working with the Bureau of Land Management’s Barstow office, the Mojave Desert Land Trust, the Landers Community Association and this year a new partner, High Desert Keepers, I organize an opportunity for community members from around the Morongo Basin to help steward the infamous site while I share my research and stories relayed by oral history interviewees.

This year we had 50 volunteers, both young and old. Each received a day pass for free National Park access, a complimentary National Public Lands Day T-Shirt and lunch donated and delivered by Michael at the $5 Pizza Place.



Screen Your Own Flying Saucer Shirt

Date: September 21, 2019

Time: 2PM - 5PM

Location: 7350 Acoma Trail, Yucca Valley, CA 92284

placekeeping | Public Humanities


Rachael Buettell at Black Luck Vintage in Yucca Valley graciously hosted a free silkscreening workshop featuring graphics I recreated based on actual designs found in my research from 1957 and the early 70’s UFO Conventions led by George Van Tassel. Attendees choose a screen and some applied both designs on the front and back of their t-shirts.

The eventbrite tickets to reserve a spot went quickly. You can score your own shirt here!