During the past two years, I’ve had several gallery showings in the Treasure Valley of my multimedia art installation “Home on the Strange.”
It began with an exhibit in January 2011 at Studio J and has continued through 2012. I’ve shown at Idaho Poster and Letterpress, ALPHA’s Forever Red, Ella’s Room, Modern Hotel’s Modern Art, Kirkham Hot Springs, 2nd and Jefferson and The Art Zone at Eagle Performing Arts Center. “Home on the Strange” allowed me to work with makeup artists, friends, and models and with their help, I was able to create great installations. I love what I do, but everyone has questions.
In a dream.
Forget what you know about the past 100 years and imagine that the industrial revolution didn’t cause global warming but the start of the next Ice Age. In response, scientists began developing beneficial genetic mutations learned from animals, such as how deer are able to regenerate horns year after year. Scientists saw this as a key to survival and began testing a series of experimental drugs on humans, planning for an Ice Age that would blanket the entire world in ice within 200 years. Nations forget their differences and work together in a technological race to save the planet against a common foe: Mother Nature.
Fast-forward a generation. Because of the drugs, it seems a new species has developed…women with antlers. They are the Deer Ladies.
Jump ahead 50 years. 40% of the world is covered in ice, and while women have adapted to the new environment, it has not gone so well for men. The drugs have caused an epidemic: incurable heart mutations in human males. The predictions of the Ice Age were based on current populations being 50% being male…and those predictions were completely wrong.
In order to survive, mutant Deer Ladies have formed herds. The world—nearly half of which is now uninhabitable—has been divided into 16 regions. A Queen and Monarch have been appointed in each region. The 16 Deer Queens are who you see here.
He was a witch doctor who removed his mutated heart and replaced it with a mechanical. He now has no soul. He is Death incarnate. He harvests the Deer Ladies’ bodies for parts, trying to find a cure for the male heart condition.
An early toy manufacturer created cyborgs that look like ventriloquist dummies. These dummies are the only male interaction the Deer Ladies have, excluding old video and audio recordings. The dummies serve the queens.
* The periodic replacement of antlers is an exceptional regenerative process in mammals, which in general are unable to regenerate complete body appendages. Antler regeneration has traditionally been viewed as an epimorphic process closely resembling limb regeneration in urodele amphibians, and the terminology of the latter process has also been applied to antler regeneration. More recent studies, however, showed that, unlike urodele limb regeneration, antler regeneration does not involve cell dedifferentiation and the formation of a blastema from these dedifferentiated cells. Rather, these studies suggest that antler regeneration is a stem-cell-based process that depends on the periodic activation of, presumably neural-crest-derived, periosteal stem cells of the distal pedicle. The evidence for this hypothesis is reviewed and as a result, a new concept of antler regeneration as a process of stem-cell-based epimorphic regeneration is proposed that does not involve cell dedifferentiation or transdifferentiation. Antler regeneration illustrates that extensive appendage regeneration in a postnatal mammal can be achieved by a developmental process that differs in several fundamental aspects from limb regeneration in urodeles.