No Places With Names – 2012

No Place with Name


By Teri Rueb and Larry Phan

with contributions from Carmelita Topaha (Dine)

ISEA2012 and the Santa Fe Art Institute present: No Places With Names: A Critical Acoustic Archaeology. Drawing visitors out into the landscapes surrounding the campus of the Institute for American Indian Art in Santa Fe, this GPS-based sound walk and sculpture installation explores the concept of wilderness and its shifting meanings across cultural contexts. A spatialized sound composition created for the IAIA Dome offers an alternative mode for experiencing sounds drawn from the sound walk. An exhibition, staged as a visitor center, is presented at the Santa Fe Art Institute through December 31, 2012. The sound walk premiered at ISEA 2012 and is available as a mobile app available for free download, making the work accessible in perpetuity. 
iPhone App: Version 1.2 RELEASED 9.22.12. Android app version to be released: early 2014

Note: We are delighted to announce that the IAIA AT Equipment Checkout Room has generously agreed to extend the period during which devices will be loaned to the general public. 11 devices are available for loan from the AT Equipment Checkout Room located in the Library Building (see #5) of the IAIA. Hours Monday and Wednesday 1-6pm, Tuesday and Thursday 9-3pm, FRI 1-5pm.


Larry Phan is a studio artist based in Farmington, New Mexico. He is a maker of functional ceramic objects and an educator at San Juan College. As a first generation Asian American, his practice incorporates concepts of family, community and daily ritual experiences. Phan received his BFA in Ceramics and Sculpture from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. He has been a resident artist at The Clay Studio of Missoula in Missoula, Montana and his work has been exhibited throughout the United States.

Carmelita Topaha (Dine) is a member of the Navajo Nation, Newcomb Chapter. She has worked as a consulting anthropologist, archaeologist, or ethnographer on a variety of projects, including a decade-long cross-cultural inquiry into landscape and language. She is a weaver, potter, and a writer and teaches courses at San Juan College.

Why Wilderness?

Wilderness as an idea has traditionally fueled colonial, spiritual and environmentalist agendas in the United States. Like the notion of the "pastoral" elaborated by Leo Marx in his famous book "The Machine in the Garden," the concept of wilderness has seen significant transformations through time, often in response to population growth, development and technological change. No Places With Names ask the question, "What is the significance of wilderness today and how has it exceeded its past associations with romantic ideals?" Born of a nine-month collaboration on-site in the landscapes of New Mexico, the project seeks to reveal diverse attitudes and perceptions of wilderness as reflected in the mix of cultures that define the contemporary American Southwest. A site-specific sound walk and sculpture installation designed for the landscapes surrounding the Institute of American Indian Art is accompanied by a "visitor center" presented at the Santa Fe Art Institute through October 26, 2012. Twin presentations offer a counterpoint of experience and representation, action and contemplation, open and enclosed space, the physical and the virtual, and the audible and the visible. In each different mode, the work is meant to invite critical reflection upon the complex, and often conflicting, meanings of wilderness as place, idea, experience and cipher for revealing contemporary entanglements of nature and culture.

Santa Fe Art Institute | ISEA 2012 Artist Residency | © Teri Rueb and Larry Phan 2012

Download iPhone / iPad app from app store(search "no places with names")awards and reviewsNo Places With Names has been acquired by the IAIA / MoCNA Public Art CollectionSFAI/ISEA ResidencyUB Digital Humanities Initiative at BuffaloThe New Mexican / Pasatiempo MagazineAlbuquerque / Santa Fe Journal

Santa Fe Art Institute
UB Digital Humanities Initiative
UB Department of Media Study
Institute for American Indian Art


Mobile app development: Tom Stoll, Kitefish Labs Inc.

Sound design: Michael Bouquard

Photos: Dianne Stromberg (center)


The artists wish to thank the many people who contributed interviews to this project: Giday Woldegabriel, Ryan Rice, Linda S. Cordell, Judy Tuwaletstiwa, Phillip Tuwaletstiwa, Lucy Lippard, Bill Gilbert, Estevan Arellano, Dody Fugate, Tom Antonio, Luke Reed, Clorinda Romero, Peter Del Tredici, Roberto Valdez, Vince Tidwell, Sarrah Kubinec, Ryan Flahive, Celina Garcia, Loren Cita Taylor, Grace Berge, Heidi Brandow, Abra Ann Nungasak Stolte-Patkotak, Leena Minifie, Brian Fleetwood, Tom St. Blaise, Shannah Serawop, Keith Secola, McKeon Dempsey, Daryl Lucero, Jamison Chas Banks, and Joanne Morales. Special thanks to the entire staff at the Santa Fe Art Institute (especially Diane Karp and Katie Avery), the faculty, staff and students at the IAIA (especially Ethan Bach, Mats Reinussen, Heidi Brandow and Annie McDonnell), the University at Buffalo Digital Humanities Initiative and the Department of Media Study (especially Roy Roussel), Cathy Kosak, Frances Fischer, Dianne Stromberg, Richard Lowenberg, Judy and Phillip Tuwaletstiwa and Robert and Judith Rueb. This project would not have been possible without the early support and encouragement of David Mark, David Stea, Celina Garcia, John Ganter, Scott Freundschuh and Ryan Rice. Thank you.

Related Mapping Links
Atlas of Historic New Mexico Maps
Historical Maps of New Mexico
Palace of the Governors Statehood Maps
Perry Castenada Library Maps
Dan Collins / Flooding Phoenix
New Mexico Broadband Map

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