Incendiary Traces
The Southern California landscape has always been in question. It has served the purpose of different narratives and provided the backdrop for numerous conflicts, both real and imagined. Artists, explorers, speculators, even military strategists have used our polyglot landscape to voice and define our relationship to place, history and memory.

Conceived by artist Hillary Mushkin, Incendiary Traces is a conceptually driven, community-generated art project that explores the political act of representing the Southern California landscape by creating a series of “draw-in” events in different locations across the region, from the border between U.S. and Mexico to San Clemente Island and beyond.

The project, which is developing an archive of images, uses our real and symbolic affiliations with the subtropics as a starting point to bring home connections between Southern California and political “hot spots” in the Middle East, North Africa, Latin America and beyond. The archive includes drawings, ephemera, public events, sounds, and other forms of expression that reach beyond mainstream representations of these geographies. Through engaged and embodied acts of image and sound-making, Incendiary Traces aims to bring us closer to seemingly remote international conflicts. We are seeking collaborators in its development.

Follow along with Incendiary Traces at their website.
Incendiary Traces: Drawing the National Security Landscape
Incendiary Traces: Drawing the National Security Landscape
Incendiary Traces reflects on the project to date -- its origins, its varied forms, and its developing focus through these investigations.
Incendiary Traces: Drawing the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center
Incendiary Traces: Drawing the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center
Incendiary Traces led a recent draw-in at the 29 Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center where participants used drawing as a tool for connecting the SoCal landscape to foreign battle zones.
Welcome to Incendiary Traces
Welcome to Incendiary Traces
Incendiary Traces led a recent draw-in at the 29 Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center where participants used drawing as a tool for connecting the Southern California landscape to foreign battle zones.
The Simulators
The Simulators
After participating in the Incendiary Traces visit to the 29 Palms Marine Base, writer David Buuck contributes an excerpt from a novel about role players in a military training scenario.
Harem Girls and Camel Races: Middle Eastern Fantasies in the Deserts of Southern California
Harem Girls and Camel Races: Middle Eastern Fantasies in the Deserts of Southern California
The towns in the eastern side of the Coachella Valley have long utilized romanticized portrayals of the Middle East to shape views of their own desert backyard.
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Architecture/ Design

California becomes an international export by redefining the concept of city and home.

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Community Arts

Through workshops, education and placed based projects, art is the connective tissue of a community.

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Cultural Politics

Funding bubbles, cultural deserts and the politics of access to the arts in the 21st century.

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At the shadow of the entertainment industry, video artists and underground filmmakers take a stand.

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Visual Arts

Breaking away from the European and New York vanguard, California reinvents the art world.


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