Carrie Paterson

Let Them Eat Cake (2017-18)

Pencil on paper, cake

28 x 31 ½ in.

I’m a self-trained D.I.Y. engineer-of-sorts, an art-researcher, and inventor. In August of 2013 I was awarded my first US utility patent, No. 8,499,960 B2. It describes the integral storage container comprised of multiple, concentric, but independent glass spheres that was fabricated by my co-inventor, scientific glassblower Bob Maiden. The nexus between the disciplines of science, art, and engineering is where I do my work, both in writing and art. The artwork I make is conceptually driven, multidisciplinary and occasionally collaborative; this has included installation, performance, text, drawing, and experiential, multi-sensory works often using fragrance.

Catherine Long and Doran George

Manifesto Doran 1 and 2: Screenshots from Stalemate by Doran George. Summer Dancing 2009. Decoda. Coventry UK. Film by Barry Shils.

Manifesto 1 and 2. Original photos by Christian Kipp. Performance of Impasse by Catherine Long, choreographed by Doran George. Summer Dancing 2014. Decoda. Coventry UK. Images edited by Catherine Long

Cathy Akers

My series of porcelain vases, Home Free Home, is inspired by the photographs and personal stories of residents of Morningstar and Wheeler’s Ranches, two short-lived but influential communes located in Sonoma County, California, in the 1960s and ’70s. Both communes possess extensive archives and I was inspired to re-purpose the archival text and images to explore the experiences of women and children, who were often devalued in countercultural communal life, since most communes were founded and led by larger-than-life men. As a vessel traditionally associated with women and domestic life, but that was also employed as a storytelling instrument during Greek and Roman times, I thought the vase was a fitting form for this project. By inscribing the women’s and children’s stories directly into the clay of the vases, as well as fusing their photographic images into the surface of the vases, I hope to ensure that their stories are heard.

The Kid Pack (2017), Porcelain, photocopy transfer, underglaze, acrylic paint, 9.5(H) x 9 (W) x 8 (L) in.

“Sometimes, when we kids were bored, we took off into the woods with the clothes on our backs and maybe a pack of graham crackers. We lived on wild carrots and watercress, small birds, squirrels and sometimes moles. They were easy to catch if we hadn’t taken one of the .22s with us. We killed them, cleaned them, and toasted them on sticks over the campfire.”


Kids ‘n’ Drugs (2017), Porcelain, photocopy transfer, underglaze, 9 (H) x 13.5 (W) x 9.5 (L) in.

“Since we didn’t have TV or go to school, we had to find ways to entertain ourselves. Any drug that was available I was willing to try. Anytime we got a hit of acid or two, we would split it up. The big kids (10 or older) could have half a hit and the little kids (5 to 7) could only have a quarter hit. There were several years where I was using some substance daily. Horse tranquilizers, pot hash. mushrooms, peyote, acid and cocaine–and that was all before I was 12.”


Women’s Lib (2017), Porcelain, photocopy transfer, underglaze, 13(H) x 6.5 (W) x 6.5 (L) in.

“Living at Morningstar, I realized for the first time that I could be free. Maybe I wasn’t free yet–most women on the Ranch had boyfriends or husbands who expected us to fulfill our ‘womanly’ duties–but I saw that freedom was possible.”

Charlotte Watson Sherman

KNEEL: AN ANTHEM (2017), Mixed media

I heard a filmmaker say, “Words don’t make you feel anything.” As a writer, I recoiled. There are many words in combination, and even single words that evoke a multitude of feelings in this Black woman. Nazi. ICE. Klan. Resist. We are living in perilous times and we may not have yet seen the worst of what’s to come. I don’t have THE answer. But like Colin Kaepernick, I have knees and humility and the gumption to never forget.

Chris Michno

The three juxtaposed texts presented in Exodus adopt Orwellian language to suggest possible ramifications of climate change as it begins to alter our environment and affect life on Earth. The texts shift from the present-day to an imagined future in which government agencies and private corporations collude to turn climate refugees into indentured servants and a source of cheap labor for terra-forming operations on Mars. The work posits a state of ambiguity relating to government, human rights, citizenship and immigration as human culture considers the potential of migrating beyond Earth. The texts, hand-printed in graphite, convey a sense of documentary while being on the verge of disappearing.

Exodus (2017), Graphite on paper, 28.25 x 37 in.

Christina Ondrus

Altered States / Non-Dominant

This series of text-based drawings list altered states of consciousness or psychonautic techniques used to attain them. They are all drawn with the artist’s non-dominant writing hand, a practice that also alters the brain by strengthening neural connections. The reflective metallic sheen of graphite illuminates the text on a painted opaque matte black background to formally heighten the viewer’s experience.

Altered States / Non-Dominant (Partial List of Psychonautic Techniques) (2014), Graphite and flashe on paper, 20 x 16 in.

Connie Samaras

NOT MY MARS (2018), Printer paper, 8.5 x 11 in.

Who hasn’t looked up at the stars and dreamed about what it would be to travel outer space?

Over the last decade Mars (where the sunsets are blue) has been increasingly marketed as the necessary destination point for the survival of the human species.

Working off unquestioned declarations that all earthlings are doomed to extinction due to climate change, overpopulation, the threat of nuclear war and the repetition of history (we would be number 6 in a series of planetary extinctions) China is building a Mars colony prototype in the Qinghai desert and in the U.S., the trump administration, NASA and Elon Musk’s Space X are partnering to begin steps towards colonizing Mars and mining the Moon.

The semiotic linking of the colonization of Mars to human survival is being marketed in the vein of team spirit. Having the slightest allergic reaction to the promised mix of the biggest survival reality show and extreme sporting event ever labels one either a Luddite and/or an enemy of team humanity.

Despite the certainty and engineering brilliance these ideas are presented with, there remains a vast ignorance, both willful and blind, beneath the shiny red surface. Therefore below is a list of necessary reevaluations.

First it is a bad idea to blindly follow billionaires anywhere regardless if they’re creative geniuses or charismatic carpetbaggers especially if you think they’re self-made.  They’re not.  Their wealth is amassed with the use of your money through state support.  That’s why in the U.S. they donate to both major political parties

Second technology is dumb. Inherently it is neither good nor evil.  It is indifferent like the Antarctic ice that slowly but surely covers any built environment at the South Pole no matter how creatively engineered. Technology alone won’t redeem us. Neither will a simple mix of technology and entrepreneurship.

Third the inevitability of extinction is not a simple fact.

Fourth in the face of apocalyptic concerns, running away to Mars (which may fail) seems like the easier thing to try.

Harder is to seriously begin discussions about how to solve overpopulation instead of talking about what the best baby carriage is your money can buy.

And why choose to build more cars even green ones as a top solution to climate change? Instead just get rid of them. Los Angelinos alone would be overjoyed to have the extensive streetcar system that preceded cars put back in. If L.A. functions as a future imaginary, then take it from us, being doomed to individually inhabit a never ending barely moving dense sea of cars is utterly inhumane.

We must also completely disband nuclear weapons.  It can be done. Like getting rid of cars and an outdated oil economy it simply needs to be made a firm goal.

And why is it more logical to solely speculate billions on warming up Mars than developing equivalent technology to cool the Earth back down? If the idea is that humans become a multi-planetary species why is Earth being written off?

Fifth these things will take time to accomplish.  For one it will require brainstorming innovative and new economic formations equalizing wealth.  Instituting them will move us away from betting the future on ideas generated by a tiny population of billionaires to wagering better odds on the differing collective endeavors of billions.

Sixth maybe there is no more time. What if Mars is it for a miniscule portion of humans?  Extinction can also easily befall the colonists in numerous ways including the sole importation of an economic system deeply rooted in multiple types of discrimination and a social order based primarily on military hierarchy.

Seventh what if extinction is in the cards for all humans on Earth and Mars? Then it’s best to consider that we are simply ordinary not anything special.  Nor are we the most exalted life form among our fellow animal kith and kin.

Eighth who exactly will be going to Mars?  Musk’s goal of a city of 1 million is .013% of the current world population. Yet he says anyone with $200,000 can go.

Ninth traveling to Mars will be fun says Musk. There will be a zero gravity room to play in, a movie theater, lecture hall and one restaurant.  Humans who like shopping malls, bouncy houses, and off limits research communities of mostly white male scientists will enjoy the spaceship.  For others, stuck in a loop of Ted talks, affectless science lectures, and James Cameron films can produce madness.

Tenth Musk also promises fun on Mars. For example, because Martian gravity is only 37% of Earth’s one can easily “lift heavy things and bound around.”  Reduced gravity also causes human internal organs to migrate upwards towards one’s throat. Failing to be realistic about inevitable physical changes that will beset the human body once it permanently leaves Earth can also produce madness. At the very least questions about authenticity will pop up.

Eleventh someone once told of experiments that were performed on the International Space Station by the Russians looking at the effects of gestating life in space.

Twelfth in the tiny greenhouse aboard the station, they first sowed wheat seeds brought up from Earth.  As the plants came up so did their roots. No longer were the seedlings anchored to the ground.  Next guppies were brought up and the progeny of these fish were born without flotation stomachs.

Thirteenth although both plants and fish adapted to space in one generation, when brought back to Earth it took seven generations for their descendants to return to their “natural” physical state. This brings to mind Frederik Pohl’s 1976 SF novel Man Plus. An astronaut being bodily re-engineered to survive Mars becomes a monster on Earth.

Fourteenth starting with a series of ideas theorizing the human body by feminist, queer, transgender, affect, post-human, disability studies and black intellectual theorists, the following sections address a range of critical issues that must be thoroughly addressed and understood before inflicting ourselves on the cosmos

Connie Samaras – NOT MY MARS

Dana Sperry & Natalya Pinchuk

From October 2011 to October 2012, Dreaming Youngstown invited residents of Youngstown, Ohio, to re-envision the city and contribute their ideas to an open-source library of possibilities. Brainstorming sessions/conversations were related to abandoned structures and vacant lots, and generated a wide span of visions from people with different ages, ethnic backgrounds and economic situations.

Dreaming Youngstown (2011-12), Posters, 24 x 33 in.
Total project size: Dimensions variable