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awaitinginsaltlakecity.com

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Awaiting | Introduction

This site was originally the brainchild of web designer Peter Francisco Balanesi, who conceived of an online forum for the students in my weekly master class on performance art. Urban designer Stephen Goldsmith, a member of the performance project production team, dreamed it much bigger for his students of urban planning, as part of his ongoing efforts for the democratization of public spaces, real and virtual. Sound artist Rosi Hayes drove me in her family jeep over 100 miles to experience the flooded salt flats in late winter, and her beloved mountains in early spring; a cathartic pilgrimage full of lyrical ghosts from which I returned with haunting images. And artist Ed Bateman contributed fonts and banners using the Deseret phonetic alphabet of the 1860s. But most of all, the administration, faculty, and students from the College of Fine Arts of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and the artists of Utah, so welcoming and generous, compelled it. Therefore, we launch it in spring 2010 as a very open public space for them and all to continue reading and observing, thinking and writing, experiencing this cloistered place and the pioneer culture that imagined it as a garden in the wilderness, with all the complexity and problematic of this construct for the environment, its native peoples, women, American narrative, utopian millennial Christianity, and the evolution of consciousness.

Ernesto Pujol
March 2010