All notes written by Ari Marcantonio and Jaime Knight | Notes on Looking

Take a Sauna

Take a Sauna.  One built with love by hand, from the land and our supposed refuse. Relax against a wooden bench warmed for hours by a stove burning the same wood, scavenged from friends, neighbors, gentle strangers.  Take a break from the heat, in the heat.  When you step outside the desert air will feel cool as the breeze dries your sweat, your mind and body clarified.  Take a Sauna.  Take it for what it is but understand it is more; more because of the how, where, who and why of its making and the contextual layers that require sloughing off (like your skin softly scrubbed by the millions of years old pumice collected from the even more ancient sea floor called the mesa). Momentarily transcend the utility of the structure only to encounter the inseparability of its function and content. Take a Sauna. In the summer of 2012 we participated in a nascent artists residency being built on “unimprovable” land in the Northern New Mexico high desert.  PLAND (Practice Liberating Art through Necessary Dislocation), “a multi-disciplinary organization that supports the development of experimental and research-based projects through a variety of on and off-site programs [sic]” allowed us to approach our art practice(s) differently, to ask some particular and far reaching questions, and to work together in new and surprising...