Wonder Valley House This project documents several decades of settlement and abandonment in the “Wonder Valley”, part of the Mojave Desert in Southern California. The Morongo Basin lies at the western end of the Mojave Desert in southern California. Part of this basin is sometimes called the “Wonder Valley”. This high desert region, just east of Twentynine Palms and west of the Sheephole Mountains, was one of the last parts of the country to be homesteaded. The Small Tract Act of 1938 made it possible to homestead a parcel of up to 5 acres, and to “patent” the land only minimal improvement was needed. Many small structures were built in this area as a result. Most are abandoned. The contrast between the immense open horizon of the high desert Mojave and the very small scale and constricted interiors of these largely abandoned homesteads is unsettling and remarkable. It is equally unsettling to be aware that the Los Angeles megalopolis is only 150 miles away. There is great visual contrast here, and between the harsh beauty of the landscape and the difficulty of existing here. It is a seductive and beautiful but extreme environment. The artist has deliberately titled these images to reflect the very close uniformity of the structures themselves. Many are of identical size and build, often constructed from informal kits from building material suppliers catering specifically to homesteaders.