Tony Oursler

space men r My friended

VR, 2016

The work by Tony Oursler is an exploration of a person’s mind and story. The viewer is invited to follow George Adamski, a »contactee«, claiming himself to be the first person ever to have seen and talked to aliens and even visited other planets.

Tony Oursler has always been investigating and using contemporary technology both in his art and as a source of inspiration. The virtual reality artwork therefore lies as a natural extension to his pratice. Space men r My friended arises from the path Oursler took with Imponderable and the Imponderable Archive shown at MoMA and Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College, NY, and explores the interlinking characters involved with the origins of Unidentified Flying Object photography.

The main character in the virtual reality artwork, space men r My friended, is a first generation Polish immigrant and one of the leading UFO figures, who arguably is the first UFO photographer. In the 1930s George Adamski made a small fortune by winemaking during Prohibition with a government license. At the end of the prohibition, Adamski lost his profitable earnings and with his wife Mary Shimbersky and some close friends, moved to a ranch near California’s Palomar Mountain, where they dedicated their time to studying religion, philosophy, and farming. It was in this area that Adamski first saw a large cigar-shaped »mothership« in 1946. In 1947 Adamski managed to take a photograph of the ship, and in 1950 – after seeing several UFOs over the years – he took a photograph of what he alleged to be six UFOs in the sky. Two years after Adamski and his friends observed another submarine-shaped object in the sky in the Colorado Desert, from which a scout ship disembarked, Adamski was contacted by the Venusian pilot called Orthon. After his first encounter with the UFOs Adamski began to give lectures about his experiences and paranormal activities.

Courtesy of the artist and Khora Contemporary.

Photo: Damjan Švarc © ACE KIBLA.