Oceano, California – A place of history and controversy
These are the dunes of Edward Weston’s iconic photos; of Cecil B. DeMille’s 1923buried movie set for The Ten Commandments;of the Dunites - the artists, poets, nudists, and mystics who lived in dune shacks from the 1920s to the 40s - hosts to Weston during shooting trips; and most fundamentally, of the native Chumash. These dunes now host a landscape of ATVs, inciting a decade-long legal battle with nearby residents over air quality. Lana Z Caplan attended Air Pollution Control District hearings, met with historians, scoured archives, and collaborated with yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini Northern Chumash tribal leadership to excavate these histories in images. Ultimately, Oceano questions the legacies of colonization, photographic history, utopian ideology, and the future for the politically charged and environmentally threatened Oceano Dunes, a large State Park in southern San Luis Obispo County in the Guadalupe-Nipomo dunes complex.
Hanna Rose Shell is Associate Professor of Art & Art History, and Film Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, CO. Prior to her arrival at UC-Boulder in 2018, she was Associate Professor
at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before which she was a
junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows.
Mona Olivas Tucker is the tribal chair for yak tityu tityu yak tilhini Northern Chumash Tribe of San Luis Obispo County.