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.

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!


The Waste Wunderkammer – Station Eleven Edition

Start date: September 7, 2019

End date: October 20, 2019

Time: 1-6PM Thursdays through Sundays

Location: Yucca Valley Visual & Performing Arts Center 58325 California 62 Yucca Valley, CA 92284

Art in Place


From the Exhibit Guide:


Welcome to the non-fiction of our human enterprise. This is a portion of a ‘cabinet of curiosities’, where each piece has been found in our desert, collected from 2013 to the present, a small representation of residue languishing in our fragile arid eco-system.

These selections are inspired by author Emily St. John Mandel’s character of Clark in Station Eleven where his museum of civilization in the airport on Concourse C is both an homage to his lost love and a material culture education for the younger survivors.

— Karyl Newman

About the Exhibition: Concourse C

In the spirit of community, assemblage art, and curio, Yucca Valley Visual and Performing Arts Center presents Concourse C. Inspired by the book Station Eleven and its post pandemic genesis of an airport community, the exhibition explores the repurposing of discarded waste into potential functioning shelter and as an archive of human enterprise.

Cathy Allen’s assemblage structure will be on view alongside selections from Karyl Newman’s Waste Wunderkammer collection of objects found lingering in the desert. The collection parallel’s Station Eleven’s Museum of Civilization, a display of extinct technology housed in the gift shop of Concourse C.

— NEA Big Read Morongo Basin

stories&stewardship Giant Rock Clean Up #4 for National Public Lands Day

Date: October 6, 2018

Time: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Location: Giant Rock

placekeeping | Public Humanities | storiesandstewardship


So glad friends and grant partners at the BLM-Barstow office called to see if we could bring the community together again for National Public Lands Day on Saturday, October 6th from 8:00AM – 12:00PM.

Join us! I have also invited a few of our expert collaborators to share their ongoing research as part of Our Giant Rock – A Community Touchstone in the Mojave, which was awarded a California Humanities Project Grant in December 2017. This #storiesandstewardship event is part of the grant program with the Hi-Desert Nature Museum in advance of our digital exhibit opening in Fall of 2019. We are joined again by the Mojave Desert Land Trust and the Landers Community Association and of course my creative reuse mapping project Blightsites. We will provide water, the amazing tool trailer, safety and conservation information and complimentary 2018 NPLD t-shirts!

Sign up here with MDLT or just show up.

Please join is to learn more about our cultural heritage and meet other volunteers who share an appreciation of our precious public lands at this important Mojave boulder!

Arts Connection Conference Panelist – Alternative Methodology

Date: September 29, 2018

Time: 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Location: Bell Center, Copper Mountain College, 6162 Rotary Way, Joshua Tree, CA 92252

Art in Place | placekeeping | Public Humanities


So pleased to be invited by Cathy Allen to share my placekeeping pop-up projects at the annual Arts Connection – The Arts Council of San Bernardino Conference. Join us Saturday, September 29th.

Alternative Methodology for Creative Expression – led by Cathy Allen from 3:00 – 4:15

The session features a panel of creative professionals committed to art forms such as social practice, experimental sound, performance, spoken word and pop-up works. Those presenting will discuss inspiration sources, processes, challenges, and their personal fulfillment from engaging in alternative methodologies.

The event takes place all day with lots of other panels and wonderful before and after activities for an additional cost. Here is the link to register.


Lost & Found

Start date: September 8, 2018

End date: October 11, 2018

Location: Beatnik Lounge, 61597 29 Palms Hwy, Joshua Tree, CA 92252

placekeeping | Public Humanities | storiesandstewardship

Curated by Jillian Sandell and Doug Blanc, Lost & Found asks:

Have you ever lost something, or been lost? Have you ever found something, or been found? Can losing one thing help you find something else? Are things lost or just existing in another register?

My contribution, another piece from the Waste Wunderkammer, an archive of trash collected and documented over the past 5 years, was found in Joshua Tree in 2016. The remarkably well preserved newspaper supplement from 1970 features a two color advertisement for the Jellystone Campground in Yucca Valley, a Yogi the Bear themed resort. The piece includes a photo of where the document was procured and research into this now defunct part of local history, 34.1468, -116.2999.

Selections from the Waste Wunderkammer

Start date: August 25, 2018

End date: October 25, 2018

Time: Opening 4PM - 7PM

Location: 42105 50th Street West, Quartz Hill, CA 93436



Join us at the Antelope Valley Conservancy for an exhibit featuring Selections from the Waste Wunderkammer. Collected over the past five years from the desert, there will be dirt and 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 from 4-7pm in Quartz Hill, this event is part of Maiden L.A. so make sure to check out the other #lacounty wide events through the end of August. This exhibit runs through October 25th. Artist talks are September 22th, for National Public Lands Day and October 20th. Come explore the weird things I have rescued from the AV desert and learn about prevention, resources, reuse and preservation of our fragile habitat and watershed lands.