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the wolves who did not perish went to other lands

the wolves who did not perish went to other lands

the wolves who did not perish went to other lands by Joel Garcia (Huichol) is a 360-degree panoramic AR landscape that hijacks the use of AI (artificial intelligence) paint apps and augmented reality to propose a landscape returned to the original stewards: the Serrano and Tataviam constellation of tribal communities and villages by introducing concepts of decolonization, Land Back, Indigenous Stewardship to imagine the return of wildflowers to open spaces in Los Angeles County, and the removal of mono-crop farming and cattle from all available land. Or what an elevated water table in an area like Lancaster can do to reverse trophic cascades as was the case when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Saving the environment and bringing balance to a quickly deteriorating ecosystem.

Apps like MidJourney present a highly problematic premise, due to its inherent racist, patriarchal, and settler-colonialist data set that allows users to generate images referenced from a database using visuals and information that unfortunately center white supremacy and produces outcomes that favor; light skin, and skinny bodies, and where all open space is filled with mono-crop agriculture, or apocalyptic realities.

As Indigenous Peoples, we are not disconnected from the land. We are the land and the land is us. This isn’t meant to be symbolic, but literal and true, for our ancestors are buried in our homelands. When solar farms are planned for the open space of the desert, they disrupt the ancestors resting below the surface. When development occurs in downtown areas, they exhume the bodies of loved ones to erect buildings. When lands are “domesticated” and commodified for “preservation”, such as State and National Parks, Indigenous peoples are removed from the land. Land restoration should include restoring its people, and the stewardship practices informed by thousands of years of knowledge-building.

The wolves came home…

-Joel Garcia


Curated by Nancy Baker Cahill

Project Manager: Caleb Craig

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