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HOUSTON

1992. Early (4-color!) digital poster by Chris Wayan

A poster playing with superimposed messsages--with how the mind sorts out different layers. The parallel with dream-interpretation is obvious I suppose.

It started as a parody of the US flag, all red white and blue stripes on the blackness of space--on Nature's silence, under all our busy signals.

Layered messages in red white and blue on black space, reading '(red) Houston, Houston, do you read me? And I'm not even published yet! When I land will you find me a girl? (white) Ha ha that's ambiguous or did you assume I was still male? Oh and whose war is it this time? Very pretty. (blue) I'm in the clouds now falling like an angel oh if only wishes were horses I'd be one and grant you all new...' and the signal fades.
The text was inspired by James Tiptree's (Alice Sheldon's) devastating story "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?" in which three (male) astronauts fall into a gender-bent future, to their ruin. But here, one astronaut seems to be falling instead into a dream-bent parallel present.

TECHNICAL NOTE

It's not superimposed at all. This was the digital stone age. The image has just four colors--each pixel's red white blue or black. So I tried Seurat's trick of visual mixing, to see if your mind alone would create pinks and purples, construct the superimposed shapes by (literally) connecting the dots. As you do in dreams--and, though we don't like to admit it, when awake. Just another ambiguous layering we filter as we choose.



LISTS AND LINKS: gender - space flight - astral planes - posters and picture-poems - two dreams by Tiptree: Dancing with Emily Bronte and Let me Pass! - a Tiptree-inspired dream: Hawking Country

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