In a very meta site-specific project for DesertX entitled “Visible Distance“, multi-media artist Jennifer Bolande replaced the ads usually on billboards that were blocking the view of upcoming mountains along a stretch of highway in the Coachella Valley with enlarged photos of the areas of the same mountains that had been previously hidden. The project is best viewed from a moving car as the movement allows the photo and terrain to synchronize perfectly.
In the language of billboard advertising this kind of reading is referred to as a Burma-Shave after the shaving cream company of the same name who used sequential placement to create messaging that could be read only from a moving vehicle. Within the desert empire of roadside signs, Bolande chooses to advertise the very thing so often overlooked. Looking up at the billboards our attention is drawn back to the landscape itself, pictured here as a stuttering kinesthetic of real and artificial horizons.