US English: Monsanto House of the Future

US English is the collaborative project of Brea and James McAnally. US English explores collective identity, spatial politics, and forms of protest through a diverse collection of text, sound, objects and interventions, often initiating large-scale projects in public space. US English acts as both a pseudonym and a form of speaking. Echoing other ‘collective artists,’ US English seeks to create a space of expanded authorship and exchange, considering the role of the artist within a broader landscape of production, conception, and consumption.

In addition to their work as US English, Brea and James are founders of The Luminary, an alternative art space in St. Louis, MO, and co-founders of Temporary Art Review, a platform for contemporary art criticism that focuses on alternative spaces and critical exchange among disparate art communities.

Past projects have included Operaismo, an exhibition for the MDW Fair in Chicago exploring how the artist-as-laborer exists in relation to institutions, society, and economic theory more broadly; The Game of a Free City, an exhibition, publication and public experiment sited within an outdoor playground; and How to Build a World that Won’t Fall Apart, an exhibition conceived in response to the Italian worker movements of the 1970’s that positioned the worker at the center of historical struggle; and Strike Work at the (e)merge art fair for Transformer in Washington, DC. Upcoming projects in 2014 include I am for an artist who vanishes at the Queens Museum as part of the Open Engagement Conference and a residency and public project at Corniolo Art Platform in Florence, Italy.

Program Description

Monsanto House of the Future
Wednesday, July 30th, 8 pm

Monsanto House of the Future will present a new performative lecture consisting of a video, voiceover, live score by The Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra and a publication that considers climate change as seen through speculative architecture and our changing views of the future.

For Monsanto House of the Future, we are interested in investigating utopias as a political test: How can we use past ideas of progress to enact a present conceptual strategy, not as a function of critique, but of creative agency? Utopian narratives, whether corporate or communal, come to us as predetermined failures, yet traces of the experiments still exist, returning as new visions that revise and extend the past. Monsanto House of the Future will present a new performative lecture consisting of a video, voiceover and live score and a complimentary publication that considers climate change as seen through speculative architecture and our changing views of the future.

In 1957, Monsanto unveiled its “House of the Future” at Disneyland, showcasing a home composed of “the first truly manmade material: Plastics.” The structure was on view for only a decade, apocryphally dismantled with hacksaws and torches after the wrecking balls bounced off its plastic skin. The form of the House of the Future spoke to a particular moment that has eroded in subsequent decades, in part due to Monsanto’s own environmental legacy. In contrast with what could be considered today’s “Monsanto House of the Future,” a doomsday seed vault near the Arctic Sea meant to preserve biological diversity in the face of mass extinction, the project speaks to our own revised futures, renegotiated in relation to the architecture of a changing landscape.

Special Thanks

“Monsanto House of the Future” is supported by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

×