Scout Ship Interior
About the artist
Other Info about Nate... Nate's exhibit in fired clay, includes a 6 ft. ceramic robot, and a series of story tiles that reveal the story referenced in the title., Nate received a Master's of Fine Arts degree from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He now works full time as a studio artist near Cabool, Mo., More information about his work can be found at www.cyborgclayworks.com
Several months ago I received a call from a gentleman wanting to tour my studio in Southern Missouri. He said he represented a group of archeologists working in the area and they were looking for an artist to help them document a recent find. He said they would like to get an early start because if they liked what they saw they would want to move immediately to the field site. They showed up at dawn the next day. Four of them emerged from a small S.U.V. looking like generic jedi from a science fiction convention. They seemed serious enough though. I didn’t laugh wanting to see if one of them would break character. I showed them around my work and we went through a kind of interview process. They asked more questions than I. Thinking they wanted someone to do some sketching I tried to explain that I was more of a sculptor and a potter and do little drawing. They said that didn’t matter. Intrigued I found myself getting in their vehicle and driving away with them. After less than an hour we turned off a dirt road into a field of tall grass. The monks as I will now refer to them said nothing the entire drive. That made me nervous but I was determined to see what this was about. Our destination turned out to be a hidden cave on the low side of a hill. I tried to get information out of them the whole car ride. One of them finally said they could not explain it they would just have to show me. We had to crawl to get inside the cave but it soon opened up into a vast room. The monks pushed quickly through the space to the far end. We entered a corridor and I had to stoop suddenly feeling claustrophobic after the large chamber. We went on for several minutes hunched over. Just when I was starting to feel really uncomfortable the passage opened up again. That’s when they turned out the lights. I tried to protest and realized that I had no light of my own. How could I be so stupid? I yelled and cursed and spat. Then I took a breath and started to feel my way back. The tighter corridor was easy as I could put a hand on each wall but I didn’t know how I would navigate the large room. Then my head struck something. I saw stars that gradually came into focus. Thousands of unfamiliar images flashed before me. It seemed like two whole lifetimes. My heart surged. It was overwhelming. Then I was standing in front of a mirror and I was some kind of robot. Except one of the eyes looking back was human. I no longer felt the frantic nightmare dream flashes. I was being shown something but given real memories as well. It was a flood of information. It knocked me down. Then suddenly I woke up back in the cave. The monks were still there. I blinked at them unable to become angry. They stared at me intensely. Finally they looked satisfied about something. One of them said, “Remember the pirate robot who saved the people of Earth.” I responded unconsciously “he’s part human you know.” The monks left. Somehow I made it back to the studio.