Natalie Hutchings is a multidisciplinary artist, futurist, and polymath.
An MFA in Studio Art from the University of Delaware, she earned a BFA from Towson University with a concentration in digital design and fabrication for contemporary art and is a 2018 Fellow of the Delaware Public Humanities Institute (DelPHI).
‘“Monsters cannot be announced. One cannot say: 'Here are our monsters,' without immediately turning the monsters into pets.” —Jack something, an old dead guy,’ she quotes.
“Voilà,” she thinks, triumphantly, “domestication!”
“Oh, no. It’s not that easy at all,” she writes, erasing emphatically. This is no tourist safari.
My current body of artwork is based on speculative futurism: too pedestrian to be science fiction, yet a few years (or a few left turns) out of sync with Here or Now. It is populated by a growing pantheon of alter-egos: artist personae allowed the freedom of curious creative impulses.
My inquiries: why are our collective visions of the future today so dystopian? Since the advent of The Grand ol’ Age of Information, the future has flattened itself into the present. Where are the dreams of marvelous cities, flying skateboards, and curious inventions? What is to come of us when this boring complacency becomes normal? Is “Matt Damon eating potatoes” or “amoral cell phones” really all we can muster when the entire universe is ripe with great unknowns? Or have we given up in the face of rising global fascism and imminent ecological catastrophe? Why do I feel a nostalgia for a hypothetical future that will never materialize, but whose memory lingers in a weirdo collective consciousness? If this is the future, now what?
My toolbox: Anthropocene theory, space bizness, neo-wave aesthetics, low-budget effects, retro-futurism, confidence games, scientific experimentation, subversion, activist pranks, memes, humor, the absurd, and the awkward. Birthed from the gaping womb of these influences, I curate objects and artifacts into situational harbingers: props from an imaginary time and place, activated by the artist, or one of her alternate identities. Or by you, the participant.
“I’m in,” she types, almost too quickly. “It’s done.”