Room on Mars
Kathleen McDermott
September 6 through 21 
Opening Reception: 
Friday, September 6, 6-9pm 

Wayfarers is pleased to present Room on Mars, the culminating project of our 2019 summer Artist In Residence, Kathleen McDermott. McDermott’s inventions are mostly functional, but the fictions built around them complicate their relationship to reality. Room on Mars features a living family of robotically-aided houseplants on a simulated trip to Mars, mulling over questions such as Is there enough space in space? And Is it my fault we were expelled from Eden? Room on Mars explores McDermott’s begrudging acknowledgement of the fact that her playful critiques of techno-solutionism have yet to solve any real problems. 

Room on Mars consists of a faux construction site built in front of the gallery, with a small viewing window facing the sidewalk. Within the wooden pen, three planted terrariums fitted into robots roam among a simulation of Mars, in search of sunlight. The collaged backdrop combines images from NASA’s Mars Rover with visions of Mars from the public imagination––science fiction and the American Southwest. A CCTV camera transmits video of the simulation into the gallery, causing the image to degrade. The live feed is intermittently interrupted by text and pre-recorded video, alluding to the difficulty of categorizing the status of simulation, in a world where all media is suspect. 

Kathleen McDermott is a media artist with a background in installation and sculpture. She uses a combination of textiles, sculptural materials and open-source electronics to create absurd mechanical objects that aim to explore the relationship between human bodies and technology, in both real and imagined scenarios. She holds a BFA in Sculpture from Cornell University, an MFA in Creative Media from City University of Hong Kong, and a Ph.D. in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). She is currently an Industry Assistant Professor of Integrated Digital Media (IDM) at NYU Tandon, in the department of Technology, Culture, and Society (TCS). Her work has been featured in a range of major publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and Dezeen, and has been exhibited internationally.

Room on Mars opens on September 6th from 6-9pm and will be on view Sundays through September 22, from 1-5pm, and by appointment at Wayfarers.  



Wayfarers is an artist-run studio program, arts space, and psychic home base for creative action. We support the development of experimental work through innovative exhibitions, lectures, screenings, performances, and other cultural programming, all of which are free and open to the public. We foster community by providing affordable studios, workspace and equipment access, as well as organizing exhibition opportunities, critical discussions and social events for members, all of whom who are directly involved with the operations of Wayfarers. We function as a non-profit under the fiscal sponsorship of Fractured Atlas, a 501c3. 

Private Space Membership:
8' X 12' with lots of clean, white wall space and wood or concrete floors. These spaces are $462/month and there is currently one available.

“Ghost” Membership:
Wayfarers also has several spots available for "Ghost Members." Ghost membership comes with all the benefits of general membership (including participation in group exhibitions and in crits) except for a designated working space. (A storage cubby for work in progress is provided.) Ghost membership fees are $122/month.

In addition to their work spaces, Wayfarers offers members wifi throughout the building, a complete wood shop, silkscreen facilities, exposure table, spray booth, and a kitchen/commons area. Studio members at Wayfarers have 24-hour access to the facilities. 

Exhibition Opportunities: 
All members in good standing are eligible to participate in annual member shows in the on-site gallery and in Bushwick Open Studios. After active participation in the program for one year, Wayfarers private space members are eligible to participate in a one or two person show. All members are eligible to exhibit in national and international "Exchange" exhibitions with other collectives organized by Wayfarers Advisory Board. Members also receive free admission to paid events and discounts on any purchases from the gallery and are able to reserve the gallery for pop-ups, installations, etc. in between exhibitions.

Critic in Residence: 
Wayfarers members select one professional critic annually to conduct quarterly critiques. All private space members and Ghosts are eligible to present their work to the Wayfarers community for critique. Our current Critic in Residence is sculptor Taylor Baldwin, Asst. Prof. at Rhode Island School of Design.

If you are interested in a space at Wayfarers, please submit a link to your website or images of your work to wayfarersstudioprogram@gmail.com