dimensions closed: 6”h x 5”w x 11/8”d open as flat lay: 6”h x 10” w x variable depth open as vertical circular form: 6”h x 10” diameter
SOLASTALGIA is a neologism created by environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht, from the words solace (that which gives comfort) and algos (Greek for pain) to describe feelings of homesickness for one’s home environment. SOLASTALGIA is caused by violation of one’s endemic sense of place and feelings of unease that the environment is changing for the worse due to man-made or natural destruction of the surroundings and lands where one lives.
I encountered the word SOLASTALGIA while researching environmental art; it defines my despondent emotions about the environmental effects of climate change on our Sonoran Desert, including those witnessed on my own property. It especially describes my distress over the massive destruction of desert currently underway in the suburb towns northwest of Tucson as they blade the land bare and build high density housing subdivisions with no regard for the irreplaceable beauty they are destroying. This small book describes my experience of SOLASTALGIA.
excerpts subdivided all day long the sound of metal scraping all day long the clank of metal crushing all day long the silent screams of plants torn crushed broken from the earth all day long the muffled cries of small lives crushed buried alive all day long the silence of earth scraped bare where desert used to be
silencio profundo Coyotes used to howl here. In the evenings and at night. Yipping their Morse code that grew to a glorious clamorous crescendo. Thrilling and wild. We would see the pack coursing through our property like a tawny silent river undulating with the terrain. Spadefoot toads used to emerge here. Bleating in a deafening all night amplectic frenzy. Covering ground and roads with their plump hopping bodies. Now there is silence here. The dark night stillness only disturbed by wistful hooting of owls and the lonely whine of passing cars.
dimensions closed: 10.5” x 8” x 1” open as flat lay: 21.5” x 8”
Location, location, location… in other words, latitude, which describes the position of a place north or south of the equator and determines the amount of solar energy that location on Earth receives, matters in a big way. The Sonoran Desert’s address on the globe between latitudes 23°N and 30°N is what makes it a subtropical desert. This unique, lush desert is not only defined by its bimodal precipitation—summer monsoons and winter rains—which it receives due to its location between the Chihuahuan and Mohave deserts, it is also characterized by its two distinctly separate summer seasons—the dry foresummer and the wet monsoon summer, which results in five, not four seasons. Those who visit our desert or who are newcomers from locales on other parts of the globe that sport tender green growing things during most of the year, flaming fall colors, and snow might not be able to distinguish between our seasons here, but true desert dwellers will tell you that each of our five seasons is unmistakably different, and each has its own special beauty.