Benjamin Ball grew up in Colorado and Iowa where his mother's involvement in theatre proved influential. While studying for his degree at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, Ball logged stints at Gehry Partners and Shirdel Zago Kipnis. Upon graduation, he sought work as a set and production designer for films (including the Matrix...read more
Located in the barren desert near Joshua Tree National Park, 15 miles from the nearest human settlement, Yucca Crater is a synthetic earthwork that doubled as a recreational amenity during High Desert Test Sites on October 15 & 16, 2011. High Desert Test Sites generates physical and conceptual spaces for art exploring the intersections between contemporary art and life at large. After the event, Yucca Crater was abandoned to the entropic forces of the landscape.
The work resembles a basin that stands 30 feet from rim to low point and is depressed 10 feet into the earth. Rock climbing holds mounted on the interior allow visitors to descend into a deep pool of salt water.
Yucca Crater expands on concepts borrowed from land art, incorporating the prospect of the abandoned suburban swimming pools and ramshackle homestead dwellings scattered across the Mojave. Ball Nogues have re-imagined these interventions in the landscape through a method of production where the tools of fabrication transform to be become objects for display in their own right. The rough plywood structure of Yucca Crater was originally the formwork used to construct another Ball-Nogues work, Talus Dome, in which more than 900 boulder-sized polished metal spheres were assembled to appear as a monumental pile of gra...read more