“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
~ Jack Kerouac (at El Mirage Lake)
Mickey Thompson testing the unfinished Challenger 1 at El Mirage Dry Lake, in 1958. This garage-built car eventually propelled him to break the 402 MPH record set by John Cobb, going 406.6 MPH at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah on Sept. 9, 1960.
Invisible Film (2005) by Melik Ohanian documents a projection at El Mirage Dry Lake in California of the controversial film Punishment Park (1971) directed by Peter Watkins. Punishment Park was banned in the UK and USA for its anti-war stance following military action in Vietnam. Before entering the space, we hear the audio track and see the subtitles from Punishment Park. However in the next space we aren’t shown the actual film, as expected, but rather the image of a 35mm projector beaming Punishment Park into thin air in the same desert landscape that the original film was shot in. By rendering the film invisible, Ohanian comments on today’s political situation and how governments and the film industry control public perception and consciousness.