An article in The New York Times yesterday contained photos of the artistic interior labyrinth of the Ghost Ship that burned in Oakland. The Ghost Ship was an inspiring space. No wonder so many risked and lost their lives in that landscape.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016 ... .html?_r=0
An equivalent natural space ecologically might be the Galapagos Islands - so much creativity. As for natural labyrinths, equivalents in the San Jacintos might be the area of rocky peaks near the tram and the boulders, brush and fallen trees on the slopes of Willowcreek canyon before the fire. Joshua Tree also has equivalents: the Wonderland of Rocks, the rugged land around Quail and Queen, and at Eagle Cliff. Whitewater also has them in the unnamed canyons up the river and beyond the ridges. I have been lost among their ruins, not sure how I would ever get out, and not completely wanting to. The exits are all cluttered and hard to find, just like the NYT said about the exit from the Ghost Ship.
In first reports the NYT told a different story than it did yesterday about the fire and life in the Ghost Ship. In first reports, the story was about an evil, selfish landlord and master tenant, and artists living and partying in a hellish space. The photos and the article yesterday negated much of that narrative. It was a great place to live and party, even while it was dangerous. Today, a new article returned to the moralistic narrative. A firefighter was quoted saying, “Safety is more important than art.” The article also says that artists would not live or party in such spaces if they had more money, and, regardless of that, the artists did not have the government’s permission to have a party on the night they died.
Have you ever hiked and been lost among the ruins in the art district in downtown LA? The hike is easy. No elevation gain to mention. Low mileage. But the ruins and the experience are wonderful.
The NYT says a few hundred artists will be gathering this weekend to remember those who died in Oakland. The gathering space is an old warehouse in ruins in Brooklyn. It is illegally used and totally unsafe. On top of that, the artists do not have the government’s permission to gather. Tut-tut.
Wilderness, like an old building in an urban art district, is dangerous. We can die there. The government will not let us live there. It takes government permission to even go there. The exits are cluttered. But the ruins and the experience are wonderful.