Desert | Desert documents 4 months of domestic deployment:
My cousin is a pilot in the Air Force. His deployments usually coincide with the holidays and his birthday in October, and are usually about 4 months long. This time, I expected him to leave in about three weeks for a deployment that promised no flight time (a horrible prospect for a pilot) and no days off. I thought, well, if he doesn’t get any days off, neither should I. I decided to do something every day to mark the time and keep him present in my daily routine.
He left last night rather unexpectedly, but his job during this deployment has changed to include flying and days off, which is a huge improvement over no flying and no days off.
I’m not sure what my daily actions will be, I can’t promise they will make sense or be profound or even interesting, but for the next four months I’ll be doing something every day to remind me of or bring me closer to K.
Although this project was small and private, Desert | Desert emerged from a great deal of conversation with family, academic friends, and artists. One of those conversations was documented in 2009, when I chaired a New Media Caucus special session at CAA: “War Correspondence.” See also “Mail Away: War correspondence at home and online,” media-N, vol. 05 n. 02 (August 2009), CAA Conference Edition.