Kate Ballis’ Infra Realism; Palm Springs as you’ve never seen it before

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In a sharp rebuke to my last post about how balmy the weather has been, this unexpected February cold front afflicting the West Coast has me and the cat cooped up in the garden hut/office as close to the space heater as safety allows. The cat snores softly while I gorge on as much political news as sanity allows, which in my case, barring an intervention, is apparently a lot. I know what you’re thinking: But your daytime temps in Southern California are only in the 50s! To which, as a cold weather tenderfoot and native Angeleno, I respond: Yes, but that wind! Through my office I watch as it tosses the giant tetrapanax leaves, bowing them up and down like sycophantic courtiers. (All the political reading must have brought sycophants to mind.) And, no, I didn’t make the trip to Palm Springs for Modernism Week, but hiding indoors from the wind I did find some amazing infrared images by Australian photographer Kate Ballis (via The Fox is Black) that make being a shut-in that much more tolerable.

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My photos are capturing something otherworldly. We take it for granted that the sky is blue, that it fades into the background, but through infrared everything is subverted and suddenly the sky is pushing against the picture plane. My work, in that sense, straddles science and magic, providing a glimpse into the unknown, making the unseen, seen.” — AnOther, “Reimagining California Landscapes Through Infrared”

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Ballis originally chose California, particularly Joshua Tree and Palm Springs, for the first instalment of this project because of the way nature and architecture coexist in those areas. ‘In these suburban spaces you have these beautiful mid-century properties that are painted in these subtle pastel hues, so they are almost camouflaged against the surrounding desert. People also spend so much time cultivating their gardens full of succulents, but they end up just disappearing into the landscape.’”– AnOther, “Reimagining California Landscapes Through Infrared”

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(Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann house)

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Have a great weekend, and stay warm!

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2 Responses to Kate Ballis’ Infra Realism; Palm Springs as you’ve never seen it before

  1. Kris P says:

    The images are very “Forbidden Planet” (absent Robby the robot). No one but another denizen of coastal SoCal may appreciate just how COLD it is here right now. It’s a shock, especially after our exceptionally warm January. I ventured out a bit this afternoon – as long as you remain in full sun, protect yourself from the wind, and keep moving, it’s not so bad. I lasted out there for about 90 minutes, but that may have been the result of pure stubbornness.

  2. hb says:

    I think i would have done the skies red, yes, but made the rest sepia not shades of blue–would feel more like Palm Springs to me. I suppose that is why Ballis is the artist and I am not!

    Enjoying the cold immensely–so sick of heat waves! B&N are bouncing around like puppies.

    Can’t be that cold, anyway–the outdoor orchids are fine.

    Watch that overdose on political news. Bad for mental health. I’ve cut back a lot and am much less suicidal. ;^)

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