I-17 2006
concept, production and text: Anna Lascari
duration: 07:53;02

'Within 25 minutes after having landed for the first time in Phoenix, I found myself in two different worlds and color pallets. One was the open land of the desert and the other of the fenced communities. The colors of the desert were abruptly interrupted every now and then by the communities defended by walls built on the grass of the golf courses.' -Anna Lascari

I-17, text by Anna Lascari


Our guide at Taliesin West prophesized that in a few years Phoenix will reach Scottsdale.

In 1937, Frank Lloyd Wright bought 600 acres of rugged Sonoran desert and with his architectural apprentices began construction of Taliesin West. "Our new desert camp belonged to the Arizona desert as though it had stood there during creation," said Frank Lloyd Wright.

Taliesin literally means "shining brow" in Welsh, the nationality of Frank Lloyd Wrightís ancestors. Taliesin was also the name of a Welsh bard who sang the glories of fine art.

Taliesinís long drive, once twenty-six miles from Phoenix, now begins in northwest Scottsdale. It climbs a desert wash towards the McDowell Mountains, brittle with cactuses and tarnished-looking rocks.

Backing up his prophecy, the guide at Taliesin West told us that Phoenix now ranks as one of the fastest-growing cities in the US.

Staring at the desert horizon, I sadly imagined the disappearing miles of desert colors.

On the way back to Surprise village, my host pointed at four new fenced communities under construction and predicted that by my next visit, more communities will have occupied the desert landscape with gates and golf courses.