UFO – Howe, L – Glimpses of Other Realities – PG 263. Images courtesy of Anthology Publishing
Almost 70 years after the first widely reported UFO sighting, humanity’s obsession with aliens has produced a multiverse of cultural artifacts, from blurry photos to blockbuster movies. An exhibition at the Milk Gallery entitled Flying saucers are real! catalogs an impressive collection of evidence that this community has accumulated in the form of works of art, photos and sci-fi books collected over the years by the author Jack womack.
Known for books like Random acts of senseless violence, let’s leave the future behind, and the winner of the Philip K. Dick Prize, Elvissey, Womack began collecting items of importance to the skywatcher community by purchasing dollar books at a local second-hand bookstore. The cornerstone of his collection is that of Frank Edwards Strange world– “a carefully authenticated collection of weird and true events – so fantastic they confuse even the brightest mind,” according to the blurb – but it has grown to include hundreds of books, brochures and magazines published before 1980. While Womack admits in an interview with Milk that he don’t believe in aliens, the show is a truly prolific collection of works of art and texts that have made it a true part of our culture.
Anthology editions and Boo-hurray team up to publish an accompanying book, also called Flying saucers are real!, which will include 257 photos from the collection with text from Womack explaining their importance to the UFO community. In 2017, his complete collection will be available for reading at Georgetown University as the Jack Womack Flying Saucer Library. “When I first visited his personal library… I was amazed at the depth of American weirdness documented in rare books,” said Johan Kugelberg, curator of Boo-Hooray and co-founder of ‘Anthology Editions. The Creators Project. “Anyone interested in how information and misinformation intermingle on the Internet can study our book and these records, and ponder the wonders, beliefs and hallucinations it contains.” Check out some selections from the collection below:
Hudson, J – Those Sexy Saucer People