06 . 15 . 18
PHOTOS | LAUREN KIM, AIDAN T. E. GALASSETTI
WRITING | AIDAN T. E. GALASSETTI
Essentially, Slab City is a mythical location nestled deep in the bosom of the Southern California Inland Empire. Rumored to be an epicenter of independent living outside the grips of modern law and order Slab City magnetizes adventurous spirits from all over. Three hours south of LA, the journey to the commune is an odyssey. Mountainous wind fields, noxious battery acid lakes, abandoned gas stations, and hand painted hills are some of the landmarks scattered across your path. Places like Bombay Beach still have their dilapidated 1970's billboards welcoming visitors to jet ski on the caustic waters. Yards of rusty cars lurk in forgotten anticipation. Artists like Kenny Scharf have left inconspicuous tags on the sides of derelict boats littered throughout the town like beached whales. Upon reaching Slab City one is instantly filled with a ominous sensation of abandon. Sculptures crafted from shotgun shells add to a looming feeling of danger that multiplies the deeper you delve through the art. You're not sure if someone's watching you. As you peruse the runway of jettisoned aircrafts the California desert sun beats on your neck relentlessly. The museum of discarded artwork feels more cultish than creative. You hop back in your car and set sail for In n out as your blasting AC turns the sweat on your brown into dusty salt. You head north as the sun sets in the west, its rays melting through the fumes hovering above the Salton Sea like honey.