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The collaborative team of B. Perroud, D. Capparelli, and C. Willey used the GardenLab Experiment as testing ground for a 'time-based' system devised to investigate the relationships between plant growth (seed stratification/shrub propagation) and decay (material compost). The tests and activities were  continuous thru the GardenLab program.





Numbered are the specific ‘components’ at this stage in the project’s development. All components were placed within the Wind Tunnel space for the duration of the GardenLab program.

1. Stratification of seeds in low containers, screened to reduce light impact, with refrigeration unit(s) for climate control. Stratification units are mobile (use of wheels).  Stratified seeds to be exported to the site of MOISTURE (phase 2) at the conclusion of the program.



2. Temperature sensors were placed throughout the wind tunnel (in fixed locations). Units (see #1 & #3) were positioned according to temperature fluctuations.

3. A Compost Unit was positioned in the space. Organics from MOISTURE (phase 2) site were imported, as will degradable DriWater (irrigation supplement) containers. Other GardenLab participants were asked to supply/contribute other organics to be composted. Unit size is about 3 ft. X 3 ft. . Compost materials: green and brown organic matter, cardboard, saw dust, etc.

4. Units for shrub propagation (to be exported to the MOISTURE site at the experiment’s conclusion). Once again, the units are mobile, and therefore, repeatedly moved about the space.

5. Vertical and Horizontal positioning of the units (shrub, seed stratification, and compost) were considered based on the use of space and based on the access to the higher locations of the Wind Tunnel. Most units  “hugged” the floor.  Units were designed to be nomadic and freely moved.

6. Discussion of the experiments in the GardenLab space and their connections to the MOISTURE activities in the Mojave.


Moisture is a experimental research project undertaken by a Los Angeles-based artist collective. Focused on developing location-sensitive structures for the collection, retention, and use/re-use of water in the Mojave Desert, the collective are invested in creating micro-climates within one of the driest desert regions on the planet. Since the winter of 2002, the evolving project has developed into an annual research program centered on Harper Dry Lake, near Hinkley, California. The current phase of the program involves the design and construction of functional sculptural objects, installed in relation to the ground, and the hydraulic matrix of the region. All individual components of Moisture are to be seen as puzzle-pieces aiding in the long-range understanding of this unique closed-basin. The Harper Basin is a distinct drainage basin within the Mojave Desert, and as an exhausted agricultural area, with a large dry lake at its bottom, its history and present condition is emblematic of modern human development in desert regions. The Moisture collective intend to establish a prolonged presence in this Harper Basin, working both with and against the regions changing water cycles.

> bios >

The physical environment feeds the curiosity and drives the work of Los Angeles artist, Deena Capparelli. Exploring systems that include the climactic, geographic, ecological, and social, Capparelli’s activities bridge metaphor and fact. Her past work has been exhibited in museums, galleries, and alternative spaces in California and the Midwest, but in more recent years, she’s connected her interests as a California native plant enthusiast, garden designer, and outdoor adventurer to her art. Her sharpened focus has led to a working collaboration with a collective of artists exploring a new creative framework. Involved with Moisture, a two-year project in the Mojave Desert co-coordinated with Claude Willey, her work in the Mojave has paralleled her role as founding partner and arts coordinator in the successful interdisciplinary Science and Art Block program now in it’s third year at Pasadena City College were she is a Tenured Professor of Drawing and Sculpture.

Bernard Perroud was born in 1950 in Milan, Italy. French parents. Childhood in Italy, adolescence in Argentina, adulthood in Nepal, Canada, Benin, Mexico, Germany and U.S.A. Speaks French, Italian, Spanish, English and German. Among other travels, many stays in the Saharan desert. Artist: painter, then sculptor (many exhibitions in France, Mexico, Germany and U.S.A.). Organised and participated in different art in nature projects in France and U.S.A. To earn money he has worked in graphic arts, construction, metal work, participated in various architecture projects in Mexico and sculpted for the entertainment and film industry in Germany and U.S.A. Since summer 2002, deeply involved in the Moisture project with Claude Willey and Deena Capparelli.

Claude Willey is an L.A. artist/researcher whose activities focus on mildly sophisticated system design, construction, and analysis for both urban and rural environments. After a move from Chicago to SoCal in 1999, Willey abandoned working in sound-based mediums and began with experiments in water storage and retention. After a series of water-themed events: a symposium, a series of exhibitions, a radio piece (Hydro-Radio), and a year-long investigation of a watershed in Orange County, Willey turned his sights on the Mojave Desert to begin work with the MOISTURE collective. Becoming Willey’s main project since the beginning of 2002, the MOISTURE project has integrated itself into Harper Dry Lake Basin, working on functional land art built to interact with the region’s hydrologic cycle. In the past, Willey has been represented by the sound art labels Staalplaat (Holland), Katyn (Germany), and VUZ (Germany), but his current projects find him partnering with the Santa Rosa company DriWater and Greenmuseum.org, along with the funding agents: The Beall Center for Art and Technology and the LEF Foundation. He is currently an adjunct faculty in the Urban Studies and Planning Department at California State University Northridge and at Pasadena City College in the Visual Art and Media Division. Willey has also instructed at UC Irvine and USC. Willey lives in Los Angeles and does not own or regularly use an automobile. He commutes long distance via bicycle for work and has been documenting and writing about understanding movement and perceptions of time within a car-dominated transport system.

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http://moisture.greenmuseum.org