Think of it as the antithesis of the mile high club: A decommissioned Boeing 727 is about to be buried 38 feet below the Mohave Desert. The name of the curious installation, the brainchild of Swiss artist Christoh Buchel, is appropriate titled "Terminal." Claustrophobics beware, as visitors will enter the jet through a passageway and go inside the plane, whose windows will be sealed. Not sure about peanuts or beverage service, but the bathrooms will be in use, connected by a septic system.
Seattle Weekly contacted the Bakersfield Museum of Art this morning to inquire about the subterranean project, which will rest below a 5.3 acre plot of land near Boron, California, about an hour away from Bakersfield.
"What's the point of it?" we asked.
"I'm not sure what the point is," replied the museum's assistant director David Gordon. "Maybe it's just to do something that will make people uncomfortable, and art is not always comfortable. And here we have something that is completely different from its intent -- which is ascending, not descending."
The artist Buchel is known for creating fictitious environmental installations that provide commentary on social and political forces. One of his previous works was setting up a community center for low-income Londoners inside a blue-chip gallery.
The Bakersfield Californian reported that a county planning commission has recommended conditional approval for the entombed Boeing. "At this point in time, we've received no letters of opposition to it," said Scott Denny, of the Kern County Planning Department. "But we have received a lot of inquiries."
Attempts to reach Buchel were unsuccessful.
The interior of the 727 will be fully intact, but the engines, jet fuel and any other potentially hazardous materials will be removed before the 153-foot long plane is properly buried.