Desert Ranges (in progress) is a series that explores American gun culture via DIY target shooting areas in Arizona and Nevada. While on assignment documenting a day at a Las Vegas gun shop, I inquired with the store owner and customers about where they went to practice shooting. They told me about areas in the desert where one could legally use firearms and I found the idea of this activity in juxtaposition to the vast desert landscape intriguing.
Online maps produced by gun enthusiasts led me to the environments in which I chose to explore. What I began to discover while visiting these spaces was a bizarre contrast between the natural beauty of the desert landscape and the assortment of objects used as targets. Washing machines, books, toys, flatscreen tv boxes, lingerie mannequins, handmade dummies built with duct tape - the objects all born from aspects of our material culture and ending up violently fragmented and mixed with thousands of bullet casings on the ground.
As someone who is not a gun owner nor enthusiast, what interests me about the gun ranges is how the desert environment and objects are transformed by the activity of target shooting, as well as what is chosen — consciously or unconsciously — to be targeted. As the objects and spaces are transformed over time, shooters often render objects into further abstracted amalgamations. Desert Ranges looks at a dimension of the American landscape where the conflicting dynamics of freedom, violence, materialism and nature weave together into a surreal space.