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 and on Facebook.
The Naval Gaze: (Sub)tropical Fantasies and Imperial Pacific Landscapes
The Naval Gaze: (Sub)tropical Fantasies and Imperial Pacific Landscapes
Hillary Mushkin examines early European representations of the Southern California coast.
Johnston Island Saturday Night
Johnston Island Saturday Night
Artist Steve Rowell assembles a video piece documenting Johnston Island's past. Located 800 miles west of Hawaii, the site was transformed after numerous high altitude nuclear test launches during the 1960s and 70s.
Tracing the San Clemente Island Weapons Testing Range
Tracing the San Clemente Island Weapons Testing Range
San Clemente Island is the subject of a draw-in on the deck of a sport fishing boat named "The Fury".
'Even Our Palm Trees Are Cooler'
'Even Our Palm Trees Are Cooler'
Incendiary Traces examines the role that real estate and the railroad played in the advertisement of Southern California as a fertile tropical utopia in the late 1800s.
How a 19th Century Painting Transformed California's Desert World
How a 19th Century Painting Transformed California's Desert World
In the late 19th century, Southern California's human and natural geography transformed as millions of new residents settled its semi-arid desert world, but artistic renditions of this region seldom get the attention of its northerly neighbors. But why is this the case?
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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.

icon, Cultural Politics discipline

Cultural Politics

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

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Film & Media Arts

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

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Noir, sunshine and dystopia create a multi-ethnic narrative that is read, watched and admired around the globe.

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Multi-hyphenate works that combine disciplines, remix dogmas, and reinvent the wheel.

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A dialogue between cultures, the music of our state serves up the California dream like no other artform.

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Staging the drama of California through dance, music and theater.

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Visual Arts

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

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