Sunday, June 03, 2007


for the last three days and the next six days i am here, at stonelake farm, as an artist in residence. stonelake farm is about three hundred miles north of san francisco, nestled snugly on burr valley road, in bridgeville, in humboldt county. the farm gets its name from its owners - melinda stone and francis lake.

i'm living in the octagon.

the octagon was built by the farm's previous owners, the wheelers, in the early 1970s. i believe multiple families lived on the farm and together they raised the octagon. there is a strong connection between octagon architecture and counterculture/back-to-the-land movements of the 1960s and 1970s but none of us were exactly sure what that connection was. the octagon provides an open, public space that lends itself to communal living. the octagon also generates a circle which relates to the whole circle-of-life idea so important to the back to the landers. perhaps there's othere connections. maybe the octagon architecture is simply easier to build. maybe the octagons have something to do with the inspired, futurama designs dreamt up by buckminster fuller, one of the spiritual and social guides of the 1960s and 70s. or maybe it's just that the octagons look so damn cool.

like an octopus, the octagon has eight sides.

a side to enter and exit - as well as to borrow or leave behind a book.

a side to sleep.

a side to write and to look out the window.

a side to cut bread and look out the window.

a side to cook food and wash the dishes.

and many other sides, including the top side, a coopala, which i'll need more time to explore before i try to describe.

if you hop, miraculously, over the sink and through the glass window, you will land in the solar powered outside shower. when it's sunny, it can deliver as hot a shower as you desire. and when you stand, buck naked, in the shower, this is what you see.


kq said...

what do you see if you are fully clothed?

david silver said...

practically nothing. when fully clothed, a concrete wall immediately appears.

john kim said...

Going back even further than the 60s, Frank Lloyd Wright developed the use of oblique angles in 'reflexive' building design. I almost became the caretaker of the house described in the following link!

Hanna House

For a scholarly article on his "pattern for simple living", see:

Pedagogy and Reflex

Happy gardening!

david silver said...

thanks, john, for the excellent links. i look forward to reading the article and visiting the hanna house at stanford.