A RUSTED METAL FILE CABINET rises from the earth as if it were a natural feature of an otherwise barren wilderness east of Deming, in southwest New Mexico, between an I-10 overpass and winding train tracks. Welcome to Cabinetlandia. In the early 2000s, Cabinet, a Brooklyn-based art and culture magazine, dreamed up a conceptual nation, then gave it life by buying a small tract of land on eBay for $325. Editors invited readers to submit ideas for the art project. In 2004, a team of them drove out from California to install the cabinet in a concrete embankment. Subsequent visits from enthusiasts led to a graveyard, a makeshift toilet, signage, and, purportedly, a small chunk of uranium. The file cabinet is Cabinetlandia’s library and still holds issues of Cabinet—the original purpose of its creation. Over the years, visitors have added pieces of themselves to its holdings. One of the most recent is a short ode written on the back of a Krispy Kreme receipt from El Paso, Texas, dated August 8, 2021, 10:52 a.m.: “I am in love—I never want this feeling to end. I feel beauty all around me. I never want this feeling to end.”

See it yourself

Cabinetlandia is 30 miles east of Deming, on the unmarked Hopi Road NE. GPS and a high-clearance 4WD vehicle are recommended.