BLACK MOUNTAIN 2010-2012

BLACK MOUNTAIN 2010-2012

The northernmost peak of the McCullough Range, Black Mountain, looms 5100 feet over a geologically typical Nevada basin 3000 feet below. The mountain has been popular for a long time: it’s graced with 318 prehistoric rock art panels showing some 1700 individual petroglyphs. Recently it became part of the 48,000-acre Sloan Canyon National Conservation area; a little less recently the basin below became the fastest growing city in the United States. Most recently, since 2008 and the worst American economic downturn since the Great Depression, Las Vegas has suffered the highest unemployment and home foreclosure rate in the nation. Emptied of people, it has frozen at exactly the point where its aspirational excesses were most baroque and unfettered. Las Vegas is the epicenter of a classically American strain of boom and bust capitalism. Historically the Silver State has always veered between the excess and collapse of the extractive mining industry, but air-conditioning, proximity to California, and the retirement lifestyle have brought another economy to Nevada that operates on the same maniacal principles: the habitation industry. In terms of their physical effect on the land, the extraction and habitation economies are two sides of the same coin.

Vertical topography in desert basin cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas is coveted, and offers a stark look at the economic stratification of the current historical moment. On the southern side of the Las Vegas basin, in the town of Henderson, two developers are in the process of terraforming Black Mountain right up to the precipitous edge of the Sloan Canyon reserve. The MacDonald family shrewdly bought several square miles of the area in the 1980s; their most exclusive development, “Macdonald Highlands,” boasts as a resident Wal-Mart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie, the 106th-wealthiest American with a fortune estimated at $3.8 billion. The most exclusive “guard-gated” community in Las Vegas, however, won’t be habitable for some time. “Ascaya,” a spectacular and unprecedented 664-acre orgy of mountaintop removal above MacDonald Highlands has been dormant since 2008. Owned outright by Hong Kong billionaire and entrepreneur Henry Cheng, who spent $250 million to have the 313 lots blasted out of the mountain with dynamite from 2004 to 2008, the empty lots of “Ascaya” eagerly await Las Vegas’ next upturn, as do its many enthusiasts.

Studio-made book of 16 aerial images photographed by Michael Light from 2010-2012. Printed on Epson Enhanced Matte paper using archival Epson Ultrachrome 3 pigment inks, adhered with archival Gudy 831 double-sided pressure adhesive. Archival stability well exceeds c-print standards. Covers by John DeMerritt Bookbinding, Emeryville, CA. Edition of 10, signed on rear endpaper.

 

   01. Bursage Loop Trail Looking Northwest, Del Webb “Anthem” Homes Beyond, Henderson, NV; 2010    From   Black Mountain 2010-2012  ; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10 

 24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5 
 40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5   

01. Bursage Loop Trail Looking Northwest, Del Webb “Anthem” Homes Beyond, Henderson, NV; 2010

From Black Mountain 2010-2012; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10

24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5

40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

 

   02. “Sun City MacDonald Ranch” Hiking Trail Looking Southeast, Unbuilt “Ascaya” Lots and Black Mountain Beyond, Henderson, NV; 2010    From   Black Mountain 2010-2012  ; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10 

 24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5 
 40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

02. “Sun City MacDonald Ranch” Hiking Trail Looking Southeast, Unbuilt “Ascaya” Lots and Black Mountain Beyond, Henderson, NV; 2010

From Black Mountain 2010-2012; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10

24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5

40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5


		
	
	   03. Unbuilt “Ascaya” Lots and Cul De Sac Looking Southeast, Black Mountain Beyond, Henderson, NV; 2010    From   Black Mountain 2010-2012  ; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10 

 24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5 
 40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5      

03. Unbuilt “Ascaya” Lots and Cul De Sac Looking Southeast, Black Mountain Beyond, Henderson, NV; 2010

From Black Mountain 2010-2012; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10

24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5

40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

 

 

   04. Looking Southwest Over Unbuilt “Ascaya” Lots, Henderson, NV; 2012      From   Black Mountain 2010-2012  ; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10 

 24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5 
 40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

04. Looking Southwest Over Unbuilt “Ascaya” Lots, Henderson, NV; 2012

From Black Mountain 2010-2012; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10

24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5

40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

   05. Looking East Over Unbuilt “Ascaya” Lots, Black Mountain Beyond, Henderson, NV; 2010    From   Black Mountain 2010-2012  ; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10 

 24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5 
 40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5   

05. Looking East Over Unbuilt “Ascaya” Lots, Black Mountain Beyond, Henderson, NV; 2010

From Black Mountain 2010-2012; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10

24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5

40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

 

   06. Unbuilt “Ascaya” Lots and Cul De Sac Looking West, Henderson, NV; 2011    From   Black Mountain 2010-2012  ; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10 

 24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5 
 40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

06. Unbuilt “Ascaya” Lots and Cul De Sac Looking West, Henderson, NV; 2011

From Black Mountain 2010-2012; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10

24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5

40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

   07. Unbuilt “Ascaya” Development Looking Southeast; $250 Million In Mountaintop Removal and Terracing, Henderson, NV; 2012    From   Black Mountain 2010-2012  ; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10 

 24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5 
 40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5   

07. Unbuilt “Ascaya” Development Looking Southeast; $250 Million In Mountaintop Removal and Terracing, Henderson, NV; 2012

From Black Mountain 2010-2012; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10

24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5

40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

 

   08. Unbuilt “Ascaya” Lots and Cul De Sac Looking Northwest, “Sun City MacDonald Ranch” Beyond, Henderson, NV; 2012    From   Black Mountain 2010-2012  ; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10 

 24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5 
 40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

08. Unbuilt “Ascaya” Lots and Cul De Sac Looking Northwest, “Sun City MacDonald Ranch” Beyond, Henderson, NV; 2012

From Black Mountain 2010-2012; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10

24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5

40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

  09. Edge of Unbuilt “Ascaya” Development Looking East; Foreclosed “Obsidian Mountain” Development at Left, Henderson, NV; 2011   From   Black Mountain 2010-2012  ; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10 

 24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5 
 40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5   

09. Edge of Unbuilt “Ascaya” Development Looking East; Foreclosed “Obsidian Mountain” Development at Left, Henderson, NV; 2011

From Black Mountain 2010-2012; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10

24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5

40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

 

   10. “Ascaya,” Foreclosed “Obsidian Mountain,” and “Roma Hills” Developments, Henderson, NV; 2011    From   Black Mountain 2010-2012  ; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10 

 24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5 
 40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5      

10. “Ascaya,” Foreclosed “Obsidian Mountain,” and “Roma Hills” Developments, Henderson, NV; 2011

From Black Mountain 2010-2012; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10

24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5

40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

 

 

   11. “Ascaya,” “Roma Hills,” and “Sun City MacDonald Ranch” Developments Looking Southwest, Henderson, NV; 2011    From   Black Mountain 2010-2012  ; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10 

 24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5 
 40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5   

11. “Ascaya,” “Roma Hills,” and “Sun City MacDonald Ranch” Developments Looking Southwest, Henderson, NV; 2011

From Black Mountain 2010-2012; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10

24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5

40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

 

   12. “Roma Hills” Guard-Gated Homes Looking East; 3000-8000 sq feet, Henderson, NV; 2012   
		
	
	  From   Black Mountain 2010-2012  ; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10 

 24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5 
 40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

12. “Roma Hills” Guard-Gated Homes Looking East; 3000-8000 sq feet, Henderson, NV; 2012

From Black Mountain 2010-2012; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10

24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5

40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

   13. “Roma Hills” Guard-Gated Homes Looking South Over Harpsichord Way; Landscaper at Work, Henderson, NV; 2011    From   Black Mountain 2010-2012  ; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10 

 24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5 
 40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

13. “Roma Hills” Guard-Gated Homes Looking South Over Harpsichord Way; Landscaper at Work, Henderson, NV; 2011

From Black Mountain 2010-2012; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10

24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5

40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

   14. “Roma Hills” Homes And Foreclosed “Obsidian Mountain” Development, “Ascaya” Lots Beyond, Looking South, Henderson, NV; 2012    From   Black Mountain 2010-2012  ; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10 

 24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5 
 40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

14. “Roma Hills” Homes And Foreclosed “Obsidian Mountain” Development, “Ascaya” Lots Beyond, Looking South, Henderson, NV; 2012

From Black Mountain 2010-2012; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10

24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5

40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

   15. “Stone Mountain Ridge” at Right and Future “Highlander Ridge” at Left, “Macdonald Highlands” Development, Henderson, NV; 2010    From   Black Mountain 2010-2012  ; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10 

 24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5 
 40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5   

15. “Stone Mountain Ridge” at Right and Future “Highlander Ridge” at Left, “Macdonald Highlands” Development, Henderson, NV; 2010

From Black Mountain 2010-2012; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10

24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5

40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

 

   16. St. Croix Street Looking Northwest, 14th Hole Dragon Ridge Golf Course, “MacDonald Highlands” Development, Henderson, NV; 2011    From   Black Mountain 2010-2012  ; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10 

 24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5 
 40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

16. St. Croix Street Looking Northwest, 14th Hole Dragon Ridge Golf Course, “MacDonald Highlands” Development, Henderson, NV; 2011

From Black Mountain 2010-2012; artist's book, 35"x44", ed. 10

24" x 30" pigment print, ed. 5

40" x 50" pigment print, ed. 5

BLACK MOUNTAIN 2010-2012

BLACK MOUNTAIN 2010-2012

The northernmost peak of the McCullough Range, Black Mountain, looms 5100 feet over a geologically typical Nevada basin 3000 feet below. The mountain has been popular for a long time: it’s graced with 318 prehistoric rock art panels showing some 1700 individual petroglyphs. Recently it became part of the 48,000-acre Sloan Canyon National Conservation area; a little less recently the basin below became the fastest growing city in the United States. Most recently, since 2008 and the worst American economic downturn since the Great Depression, Las Vegas has suffered the highest unemployment and home foreclosure rate in the nation. Emptied of people, it has frozen at exactly the point where its aspirational excesses were most baroque and unfettered. Las Vegas is the epicenter of a classically American strain of boom and bust capitalism. Historically the Silver State has always veered between the excess and collapse of the extractive mining industry, but air-conditioning, proximity to California, and the retirement lifestyle have brought another economy to Nevada that operates on the same maniacal principles: the habitation industry. In terms of their physical effect on the land, the extraction and habitation economies are two sides of the same coin.

Vertical topography in desert basin cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas is coveted, and offers a stark look at the economic stratification of the current historical moment. On the southern side of the Las Vegas basin, in the town of Henderson, two developers are in the process of terraforming Black Mountain right up to the precipitous edge of the Sloan Canyon reserve. The MacDonald family shrewdly bought several square miles of the area in the 1980s; their most exclusive development, “Macdonald Highlands,” boasts as a resident Wal-Mart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie, the 106th-wealthiest American with a fortune estimated at $3.8 billion. The most exclusive “guard-gated” community in Las Vegas, however, won’t be habitable for some time. “Ascaya,” a spectacular and unprecedented 664-acre orgy of mountaintop removal above MacDonald Highlands has been dormant since 2008. Owned outright by Hong Kong billionaire and entrepreneur Henry Cheng, who spent $250 million to have the 313 lots blasted out of the mountain with dynamite from 2004 to 2008, the empty lots of “Ascaya” eagerly await Las Vegas’ next upturn, as do its many enthusiasts.

Studio-made book of 16 aerial images photographed by Michael Light from 2010-2012. Printed on Epson Enhanced Matte paper using archival Epson Ultrachrome 3 pigment inks, adhered with archival Gudy 831 double-sided pressure adhesive. Archival stability well exceeds c-print standards. Covers by John DeMerritt Bookbinding, Emeryville, CA. Edition of 10, signed on rear endpaper