The Barista Who Disappeared
Alex Pullman, the "Barista Who Could See the Future" has gone missing. This installation is a recreation of his studio at the time of his disappearance, including his final predictive works -- New Lubberland vs. Ohio Erasure Castle. In his final vision Pullman imagines the last human PI who discovers a spate of missing persons and realizes that some are escaping to a "Big Rock Candy Mountain"-like paradise called New Lubberland, while others are being kidnapped by a government entity known only as the Ohio Erasure Castle.
Revolt of the Swivel Chairs
After the great floods most of humanity moved into the Tower. Robots replaced more and more workers. The unemployed were placed in cryogenic suspension in the basement. The wealthy lived on the upper floors of the tower and collected gilded cat turds called Luries. The workers, on the lower floors, lived in fear of being frozen and sent to the basement. Their leaders were corrupt. The Beggar Queen enriched herself at her supporters’ expense. Temporarily Embarrassed Millionaires blamed refugees from the floods and ‘foreigners’ for the hardships inside the Tower. When the police came to take Emily Slubbing, the last human barista, she resisted and was killed in a stand-off. Her martyrdom sparked the Revolt of the Swivel Chairs. But in the middle of the uprising everyone started speaking in tongues. No one could understand each other. All was lost… until a robot sex worker, Rahab, fused the minds of the robots with the sleeping humans…
The 13 Baristas Art Collective were a group of radical artists and coffee shop workers who were "disappeared" by the authorities following the Chicago uprising of 2037. They chronicled their stories, their dreams and those of their co-workers in paintings and manipulated objects.
From the final edition of the 13 Baristas newspaper (2037):
IN 2028 two art school drop-outs and baristas formed the “13 Baristas Art Collective.” While we always claimed to have 13 members, largely for narrative purposes, we never had more than four members at any one time.
Maggie Cromwell, now missing, and Sidney Williams, the son of the late painter Calvin Williams, were the main force behind the “collective.”
Four years ago Amy Sverdlov moved into their southwest side studio. Maggie and Sidney met during the 2025 strikes. Amy, a former coffee shop employee and adjunct art professor, joined them after the planning meetings for the 2033 relief demonstrations.
The goal of our collective was always to elevate the complex narratives of oth- er “proletarians”—not reduced to some abstraction, nor seen in isolation from social class.
Maggie believed that our work should serve two purposes:To assert the pathos of proletarian morality in the present. And if we failed to abolish the current order, serve as a cultural building block for those remaining, those who would rebuild in the ruins.