05.03.2015 - 05.30.2015

Christopher Kardambikis

In 1877 Jules Verne published his novel Off on a Comet! in which a comet collides with the Earth. The connection is brief, but the event has pulled people, architecture and a familiar geography to its new surface. The Comet, the Earth and the relocated people survive the catastrophe but all are faced with a new, surreal reality.

I am using this story as a departure point and swapping Verne’s Comet, Gallia, with the Asteroid Perses–twisting this story and playing it for optimistic dystopian space-horror. Asteroid Perses has collided with the Earth. The impact has collected people, molded new geographies, transferred vegetation, and embedded structures into the surface of the small planetoid. Perses, the once barren rock on a degrading orbit has briefly brushed against the surface of our planet and taken with it a small cross-section of our lives - cars, dumpsters, bicycles, fences, city blocks full of architecture. What does it mean to land on/live with/travel on a dead thing amongst ruins? How do you build an understanding of history while completely removed from the source? Can Society rise from the chaos of the Asteroid’s slow, violent, trajectory through space? Will Perses’ orbit cross with Earth’s again? Has anyone on Earth survived? 

This work crosses an optimistic and fantastic look at potential end-of-the-world scenarios recent proposals and milestones of space exploration. NASA and JPL’s proposals to capture and explore asteroids, the recent landing on comet Rosetta, the private sector’s interest in Asteroid mining all smashed together with the science fiction of space exploration and the early fantastic travel stories of Verne. I am assimilating the storytelling and information design of Paul Laffoley, the diagraming of Dispensationalism, the engravings of Alfred Kubin, and the otherworldly and epic sci-fi imagery of Jack Kirby into my established visual language.

Christopher Kardambikis is exploring an absurd mythology for the future through drawings, paintings, and books. Currently a resident at Pioneer Works, he is continuing his ongoing Book-a-Month project playing with the book form while experimenting with materials, process, and space. He has co-founded three artist book and zine projects: Encyclopedia Destructica in Pittsburgh, Gravity and Trajectory in San Diego, and 90 Proof Press in Los Angeles. Christopher has been an artist-in-residence at the Art Students League, Vermont Studio Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Millay Colony, and the Pittsburgh Center of the Arts. He received his BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and MFA from the University of California, San Diego.  He currently lives in Brooklyn.

Hyperallergic Interview 

Kardambikis is the cofounder of Encyclopedia Destructica and Gravity and Trajectory.




An artist talk and book signing with Christopher Kardambikis discussing his prints and book works in the exhibition, Dynamics of An Asteroid.