Mar 22, 2010

PLAND is launched! Off-the-Grid and on the web.


Contact: Erin Elder



TAOS, NEW MEXICO - Announcing the formal launch of PLAND, an off-the-grid residency program that supports the development of experimental and research-based projects in the context of the Taos mesa. PLAND was conceived of and founded in July 2009, when creative trio Erin Elder, Nina Elder, and Nancy Zastudil banded together to acquire a small parcel of land near the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Rio Grande Gorge. The arid plot is currently void of amenities such as water and electricity, with terrain defined by sage brush, chamisa, and breath-taking vistas of open sky. The region is home to alternative communities including the Taos Pueblo, several Earthship developments, and a scattering of off-the-grid homesteaders. 

The three founders describe PLAND as:

“A program that focuses on open-ended projects that facilitate collaboration, experimentation, and hyper-local engagement. We do not hold expectations about prescribed outcomes. We privilege process over product. We believe artists can do amazing things when supported and encouraged in new contexts. We believe that no context exists like that of the Taos mesa.

We find our inspiration in a legacy of pioneers, entrepenuers, homesteaders, artists, and other counterculturalists who – through both radical and mundane activities – reclaim and reframe a land-based notion of the American Dream.”

During Summer 2010, PLAND will host a motley crew of thinkers and doers in a series of work parties, idea-testing workshops, and inaugural project-based residencies in order to transform the land into a more inhabitable outpost while challenging artists to create, experiment, and produce their own work within this unique context. These activities are funded in part by The Idea Fund and supported by the hard work of students at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

For more information visit


Erin Elder is an independent curator, writer, and teacher interested in collaboration, sense of place, and expanded notions of culture. Her research has focused on Drop City, the first of the ‘60s era artist-built communes and continues to do research and write on the countercultural activities of the American Southwest. She has produced projects with a variety of institutions including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, W├╝rttembergischer Kunstverein, Creative Time, the Center for Land Use Interpretation, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver. She currently teaches experimental art practices at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Erin holds dual self-designed BAs from Prescott College and an MA in Curatorial Practice from California College of the Arts. She enjoys hiking, hot springs, and building forts. She has recently learned the art of making wine from scratch.

Nina Elder is an artist who examines the visual evidence of post-industrial culture, and its distinctive cycles of production, consumption, and waste. Her work is concerned with banality and the proliferation of commonplace objects. She scrutinizes the aesthetic mitigation that often camouflages sites of production, use, and disposal. Her artistic inquiry responds to the friction between humanity, the natural world, and industrial proliferation. Nina's research is executed through hiking in the Rocky Mountains, exploring factories, mines, and dumps, reading Western novels, and while driving down desolate highways. In 2009 Nina received her MFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute and she holds a BFA in Painting from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. She has exhibited across the nation, including California, New Mexico, New York, and South Dakota. 

Nancy Zastudil is an independent curator and freelance writer whose research focuses on collective art practices that operate in the service of revolution and social progress. She held the position of Associate Director of the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts from Fall 2007 - Spring 2010; has collaboratively curated exhibitions in numerous cities including Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Houston; and is co-founder of Slab, an exhibition method that collaboratively facilitates artists' projects and events. She is managing editor of the forthcoming art journal 127 Prince; is co-editor of On the Banks of Bayou City: The Center for Land Use Interpretation in Houston (March 2009); and her interviews and reviews have been published in Proximity Magazine, spot, …might be good, and Curating Now. Nancy holds a BFA in Painting and Drawing from The Ohio State University and an MA in Curatorial Practice from California College of the Arts. She is a WWOOFer, a barefoot-running marathon enthusiast, and lover of cowboys.

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