Origin Myth

The Caballo Mountains to the south of Truth or Consequences display a truly astounding cross section of earth’s time; rock layers begin in the Precambrian and continue through the present. Geological time travel: dinosaurs and coral reefs, fern forests and redwood trees, mammoth hunters and atomic bomb builders.

It’s really no wonder that time does not exist in this town – we are but momentary guests in this desert oasis. Experimenters in living: trailers and gardens. Craft essential. Fermentation and broken homes walking again. Expressions of radical identity, intentional or not. Randomness. The inkling we too should live the path of endless migration like the Sandhill Cranes.

Beer, finally! Floater houses. Hotel beds and daydreams of refurbished adobe. Eclipses and the rainbow season. Oh! he rainbow season. Mad Max motor bikes with chopper handle bars and chainsaw motors. Algorithms and targeted digital advertising. Lamp-making, now there is an idea: Fiat Lux!

Friendships and tribulations yield stronger bonds and family: river float, potluck, hot springs, bbq and beer (perfect summer day). The blinding white light of 116 degrees Fahrenheit: June. Rattlesnakes and mosquitoes. Oryx, elk, mountain lion, deer, mountain goats, turkeys, coyotes and javelinas. Tarantulas. Bob Cats.

Scrawls on a rock and spray paint on a wall: lore and myth making. Blossoming community, ethos, identity. New voices echoing up and down the Rio Grande rift; mountains rise, valleys sink. We articulate stories and birth future artifacts with our bare hands. No longer murdering mammoths with Clovis points but still in awe of nature.

We etch our story upon this intergalactic oasis; time traveling the eons among fossils vibrating ever so slightly in dance as they know our gaze is upon the piercing crystalline stars in still primal deserted darkness. We are temporarily tethered nomads enshrining mythologies onto the grand arc of time and place which is this bend in the river, heated by sleepy super volcanoes.

Jeannie Ortiz & Kyle Cunningham

Artists and Adventurers.  We live in sunny Truth or Consequences New Mexico, moments away from the banks of the Rio Grande and in the foothills of the Greater Gila region.  We search out the wild corners of the world, exploring and learning, bringing back stories and impressions and then set ourselves fast at work to create objects to share. 

The modern is ancient in our work.  We live inside the rhythms of the world not outside and apart from them.  We remember that nature exists and we are merely but human, small creatures on this great piece of rock hurtling around the sun. Nature is the best guide.

Jeannie and Kyle each maintain personal websites at the following: https://jeannieortiz.com and https://kyleparkercunningham.com.


Desert Archaic has existed in many forms with the help of many different people. It’s a living project continually evolving, morphing, growing, and otherwise existing.

Over the years we have made many friends whom have contributed to this project and made it what it is today. We have to thank all of them for the time and dedication and magic the contributed to this space.

Olin West
Josh Candelaria
Reed Rische
Katie Renault
Naomi Hooley
Rob Stroup
Chantal Elena
Ashe Cravenock
Jia Appleseed
Wendy Tremayne
And so many, many more…