Star Map for SETI is a visual mnemonic for the competing sensory methods we use to understand space. The tactile rubber star map, like a Braille sign, indicates a method for the non-sighted to experience the constellations. The star map is tilted at roughly 30-degrees to the horizon just as the Milky Way is oriented in the heavens. The map of the stars itself replaces Western-centric constellations with skeletal formulas for scented molecules. These hypothetical suggestions map the particularities of the Earth environment and human experience through scents that all embodied creatures on Earth can recognize: plants, flowers, blood, fecal matter, tar, etc., as well as several important pre-cursors of amino acids critical in the production of DNA. Already at least one amino acid has been found in great quantities in interstellar space — ethyl formate, which gives rum its smell and raspberries their flavor. This could be an indication that "life" begins at a chemical level from common galactic matter.* The map is organized using the brightest heavenly bodies like Vega, Sirius, and the Andromeda Galaxy to represent carbon atoms, but also incorporates gas clouds and nebulae into the chemical structures to acknowledge these findings.
*In fact just before this show opened in September 2011, it was announced by the American Astronomical Society that carbonaceous meteorites have been found to contain nucleobases themselves, leading to the intriguing hypothesis that meteors themselves delivered the chemistry of life to a young Earth.

A multi-chamber perfume bottle takes the central position in the Armillary Sphere, replacing the terrestrial globe normally located in these 16th century navigational objects. The ecliptic band features the same Star Map as above, referencing the perfumes that could be contained in the bottle. The perfumes and the star map reflect a specific Earth-bound cosmology of the senses. The particularities of embodiment in human flesh are represented by this mnemonic object and memory device that also locates humanity in its realm of the universe and our expanding knowledge about the chemical composition of interstellar medium. The bottle has a patent pending.

Sundial (Midnight in the Anthropocene) organizes time with respect to the use of perfumes and the olfactory experience of being a human being on the planet Earth. A translucent multi-chamber perfume bottle representing the core, mantel, ocean and atmosphere of Earth is suspended within the form of a centuries-old sundial. Instead of being a time-keeping device, this Sundial indicates how the geologic evidence of recent human activity, the Anthropocene, is marked by the massive exploitation of petro-chemicals, none other than the basis for all synthetic perfumes. Small marks on the dial arc note the major dates of past epochs, starting with the age of the dinosaurs, our source of energy and the origin of our olfactory sense in repillian brains, 250 million years ago.

Using the hermetic Irish poet W.B. Yeats’ lines below, a storyboard concept has been laid out on engineering paper for a future science fiction television series that would combine recent astronomical findings with the environmental philosophy and existentialism arising from the first images of Earth as a planet floating in space. In Translunar Paradise a colony of Earth-trees grows within a habitable zone behind a moon of a large ringed planet system like our Saturn. On Saturn’s moons like Enceladus and Titan, in fact, there are speculations about the possibility for the existence of extraterrestrial life. A stretch of science, but not of imagination, the series posits that the trees would have access to forms of water coming from the icy moon and a source of constant energy—ionized plasma—that could be used by caretakers to power other aspects of these life-boats in space. The journey of the trees, a metaphor for the human spirit and its relationship to the divine structures of the Universe, allow for myth, spiritualism, and ancient traditions from Yeats’ ancestral lands to permeate the science fiction show. As sculpture, the pedestal for Translunar Paradise references the command center on the Bridge on Battlestar Galactica, from where strategic battles were planned in the ongoing war against the Cylons; but instead of positioning battleships, this sculpture suggests the viewer engage and cultivate aesthtetic traditions like the Chinese penjing ("tray scenery") to create these massive new landscapes. Translunar Paradise also takes cues from Douglas Trumbull’s film Silent Running, which features spaceships of forests that have been positioned in orbit around Saturn, but are threatened with extinction due to man’s greed and avarice.

From “The Tower” by W.B. Yeats
…Death and life were not
Till man made up the whole,
Made lock, stock and barrel
Out of his bitter soul,
Aye, sun and moon and star, all,
And further add to that
That, being dead, we rise,
Dream and so create
Translunar Paradise.