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Aug. 13: Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery Launches New Season With "29 Chains to the Moon," Curated by Andrea Grover


Eric Sloss        

Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery Launches New Season With
"29 Chains to the Moon," Curated by Andrea Grover

PITTSBURGH—The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University starts its new season with "29 Chains to the Moon: Artists' Schemes for a Fantastic Future," an exhibition that runs from Aug. 28 through Dec. 6. "29 Chains to the Moon" features artists who present radically optimistic proposals from seasteads and tree habitats to gift economies to envision a better future for humanity.
Andrea Grover, the exhibit's guest curator, said, "The artists in this exhibit counter doom-laden global forecasts with future scenarios in which civilization gets more civilized. While having the appearance of sci-fi utopias, these proposals for seasteads, tree habitats and alternative economies are more than fantasy - they are based on technology that already exists."
gallery imageThe exhibit features projects by Open_Sailing, Stephanie Smith and Mitchell Joachim/Terreform ONE. A special reading room at the gallery will highlight materials provided by Carnegie Mellon Art Professor and Space Artist Lowry Burgess, The Buckminster Fuller Institute, International Space University, The Seasteading Institute and others.
"29 Chains to the Moon" is a reference to visionary inventor R. Buckminster Fuller's first book "Nine Chains to the Moon," his radical proposal for improving the quality of life for all humankind via progressive design and maximization of the world's finite resources. The book's title was a metaphor for cooperation; if all humans stood on each other's shoulders, nine chains to the moon could be completed. Today, the population of the planet has increased three-fold making 29 chains to the moon the new allusion and the successful distribution of food, shelter and energy to more than nine billion people by 2050 will require some fantastic schemes.
A gallery tour with the curator will be held from 5 to 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 11, followed by the exhibition reception, "2009: A Taste Odyssey," from 6 to 8 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public. Special events related to the exhibition include the live contest, "Visionary Ideas (for This World or Another)," organized by Jon Rubin and Dawn Weleski, from 9 to 10:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 3 at The Waffle Shop, 124 S. Highland Avenue.
Open_Sailing is a multi-disciplinary international team, led by Cesar Harada and Hiromi Ozaki, which is designing a living city at sea, composed of multiple dwellings and ocean farming modules. Open_Sailing was awarded the 2009 Prix Ars Electronica in "THE NEXT IDEA" category. Visit for more information on Open_Sailing.
Stephanie Smith creates contemporary online and neighborhood-based communes that encourage the non-monetary exchange of resources. The Whitney Museum identified Smith as the designer/entrepreneur most actively taking the ideas of Buckminster Fuller into the 21st century. Visit Smith's Web site at for more information.
Mitchell Joachim is a co-founder of Terreform ONE, a non-profit philanthropic design collaborative that integrates ecological principles in the urban environment. Joachim was selected by "Wired" magazine for "The 2008 Smart List: 15 People the Next President Should Listen To." Visit or for more information on Joachim.
Andrea Grover is an independent curator, artist and writer. In 1998, she founded Aurora Picture Show, a now recognized center for filmic art, which began in her living room as "the world's most public home theater." Visit for more information about Grover.
For more information, event updates, high-resolution images available for download and artist biographies, visit


Pictured above is Fab Tree Hab Village, Terreform ONE, 2009.