Adriene Jenik | Ep 88

Born and raised in NJ, Adriene's first experience with the desert happened after moving to Los Angeles in the late 80's. She and a friend took a trip to Baja, CA. Adriene says she immediately felt, 'this is where my bones will end up." and has been in love with the desert ever since.

After returning to the east coast to obtain her graduate degree, Adriene returned to the west coast and having visited Joshua Tree with friends from Los Angeles in the late 80's, decided the hi-desert would be a great place to have a sanctuary in which to write and create. Those were the days before the park received it's National Park designation and one was able to go into the park and camp for any length of time for free.

In this episode, Adriene says reliable internet was one of the things that precipitated a big shift in population here in the Morongo Basin. Prior to that people loved to come up, but it was difficult to find work - the internet changed that. And because there were fewer conveniences, like larger grocery stores or home improvement stores, inhabitants relied more on each other. No city or county structures were set up as they are now. And Rancho de le Luna, known as a music recording studio now, was more of a crossroads of creatives of more than just music. Adriene believes the artists culture in Joshua Tree survives because in the late 80's and 90's artists were able to rent to buy homestead cabins for $100 a month, while the owners would hold the mortgages.

Adriene's most recent project combines art and performance. Her ECOtarot deck, climate change tarot cards, are used at events around the country to bring awareness to the issue of climate change and to help people see what their actions, no matter how small, can do to help.

Teaching four months of the year at Arizona State University, where she serves as Professor of Intermedia in the School of Art, Adriene returns to the hi-desert, sometimes with students in tow, spending the remainder of the year at her home in Twentynine Palms. Her computer and media art spans three decades, including pioneering work in interactive cinema and live telematic performance.

Adriene's Art Website