Yucca Crater, designed by UCLA lectures Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues, is a synthetic earthwork that doubles as a recreational amenity located on Iron Age Road east of the town of Joshua Tree. 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. For information on the events happening, please go to the High Desert Test Sites website, where there is also a map of the sites. This project is located about 16 miles East of the 29 Palms Airport on Ironage Road in Wonder Valley. The google map location is here.
Yucca Crater expands on concepts borrowed from land art, incorporating the prospect of the abandoned suburban swimming pools scattered across the Mojave. Ball-Nogues have 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 structure of Yucca Crater was 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.