Roy Wasson Valle / Fireweather Studio
On display November 5–14, 2021
AeroGels is a visual narrative guide of the experiences of an artist on Mars in the year 2268. It comprises six physical stations with an augmented reality (AR) component at each.
As a part of a speculative narrative centered around an artist residency program on Mars, these 3-feet tall beacon stations are used for navigation and safety while traveling through the Martian landscape. Each station has an embedded AR trigger, which opens up a window into the artist-in-residence’s experience. Five of the stations contain windows into the artist’s journal while the last station triggers extra-vehicular activity (EVA) suits so the participants can place themselves in the story as an explorer on Mars.
AeroGels is a view into a possible future with a positive outcome. It is a way to present an artistic viewpoint in a technological future that seeks to understand and inspire a better tomorrow. Viewers are invited to picture themselves not only on Mars, but also as artists and dreamers who want to do better for the collective community and be part of something greater.
Roy Wasson Valle was born in Mexico to a Mexican mother and American father. He spent his childhood in Cuernavaca, and continued to visit for consecutive summers all through his youth. His childhood was a mixture of American ’80s popular culture mixed with dubbed Japanese cartoons and European art films, as well as Mexican movies, legends, and traditions. The work he produces reflects the colors, themes, and mishmash of growing up between the cultures of Mexico and Arizona. His work is rooted in his past but looks forward to become a consistent “other.”
Wasson Valle studied at Arizona State University as an undergraduate and graduate student, completing a masters program in sculpture in 2019. He works with an artistic partner, to whom he is married, in a Phoenix studio.
They work to create speculative spaces for engagement with the public that are not age specific and can be appreciated through different levels of experience and understanding. The work Wasson Valle makes individually and with his partner are all about light, exploration, space, parallel worlds, the stars, and a possible positive future. The materials and methods vary, but the works are connected through form and approach. He wants viewers to think of their place on Earth and consider their relationship to the larger solar system, galaxy, and universe.