Media Arts Program

Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.

The Institute for Extraterrestrial Sexualities, Encyclopedia Destructica

Jasdeep Khaira and Suzie Silver

STRANGE ATTRACTORS: Investigations in Non-Humanoid Extraterrestrial Sexualities


Following the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair, join us as visiting participants and Pittsburgh-based artists Suzie Silver and Jasdeep Khaira present highlights from Strange Attractors: Investigations in Non-Humanoid Extraterrestrial Sexualities.   The book, which features over 70 artists, writers, and filmmakers, includes a DVD from which the co-curators will present an hour of shorts, featuring Peggy Ahwesh, Jacob Ciocci, Darrin Martin/Torsten Burns and Shana Moulton (whose Green Portal 43 is pictured here). Silver will also read excerpts from the short story Donkey Show.

In 2009 Suzie Silver, Associate Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon Institute, founded The Institute of Extraterrestrial Sexuality, which uses art and speculative science to creatively explore and imagine extraterrestrial sexualities. "While science fiction literature and film have often touched on extraterrestrial sexuality, these encounters are frequently represented as between a human and a humanoid extraterrestrial. Gender is often portrayed as binary even when it is homosexual. Sexual encounters consist primarily of engagements between two beings." The Institute's most recent endevor is the multi-media, book art project produced in collaboration with Pittsburgh's community press, Encyclopedia Destructica: Inspired by Kepler, NASA’s first mission capable of finding Earth-size planets around other stars, Silver says, "this project has gone beyond male and female, beyond queer, beyond any notion of gender, beyond the anthropomorphic to erotic possibilities as vastly varied as the Milky Way itself.”

“My own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.” J. B. S. Haldane, Evolutionary Biologist

According to recent scientific reports, there may be between 8 billion and 13 billion life bearing planets in our galaxy alone. With numbers like that we will certainly encounter living beings from outer space someday. When we do, what will they look like? What special parts will they have, and how will they “do it?” Will we find what they do sexy, incomprehensible or just plain gross? You can find the answers to these questions and more in Strange Attractors: Investigations in Non-Humanoid Extraterrestrial Sexualities ...

Inspired by Kepler’s quest for earth-like planets, Strange Attractors envisions the sexualities of beings that may some day be encountered - if not in outer space than at least in our dreams! A joint publication by Encyclopedia Destructica and The Institute of Extraterrestrial Sexuality, Strange Attractors presents the work of 70 artists, writers and filmmakers who have created an amazing range of expressions expanding our conception of the possibilities of alien life forms and the nature of sexual desire.