Leslie Kneisel

My Mother Was An Alien and I’m an Escape Artist

The germ for this idea started about a year ago when I found myself at Disneyland staring at the very retro looking rides in Tomorrowland. I had a couple of cameras with me as I usually do when looking for an adventure so I started photographing these shapes and colors. I have always used my photographs as a tool for examining the world as I see it and a way to process an experience. The rides in Tomorrowland seemed so yesterday. And how appropriate because our fascination with space travel and other worlds is as ancient as the Earth.

Then I started creating maquettes in my studio that appeared to have sort of “transformer” capabilities and attitude and an underpinning of a narrative began to take shape. Maybe these could be prototypes for interaction with alien beings on other planets? So I started combining my “interfacers” with my space photographs.

Regardless of the medium I choose, printmaking, photography, painting, even my embroideries, there is always an underlying narrative, however nonsensical. I also have always been interested in finding other worlds.

Especially since the Bush administration. I was yearning for another reality to inhabit. Another world, another planet. One that wasn’t ravaged yet, with a society that wasn’t encased in incredible arrogance, small-mindedness, and pure cynicism. That hadn’t learned or practiced all of the other –isms as well. A new planet that that would only permit those seeking a more evolved society to inhabit it. To become a citizen you would need to pass through an atmospheric filtering system that surrounds the planet like a bubble, a sort of non-invasive, inoffensive TSA system, only more competent and 100% effective. If an applicant is rejected, a mild amnesia-inducing sedative is administered and swiftly returned home.
No harm done, no hurt feelings.

Then around the same time I came across a small, insignificant little blurb on the internet about how the U.S., Russia and China were all cooperating on a project to launch and maintain a permanent outpost on the moon for future space travel and possible exploration and colonization of other planets.

If this is part of our country’s future, and colonization of other planets is a goal, long-term however it may be, what were the chances our space conquistadores would eventually or inevitably encounter other humanoid type species? 
And as thousands of people now believe, what if we have already had these encounters on this planet, many times , many different ages and civilizations, thousands of miles apart?