Featuring works by Sofía Córdova, Beatriz Cortez, Candice Lin, Allison Smith, and Patrick Staff

The Word for World is Forest centers around world-building and takes alternative ways of being as its point of departure. The project turns to artistic practices that demand their own agency in constructing the present and future. The work investigates how speculative thinking can challenge dominant narratives. By looking to ways of being that value living with allied species in a conscious symbiosis, the project imagines an alternative world of mutual respect, care, and survival. Sofía Córdova, Beatriz Cortez, Candice Lin, Allison Smith, and Patrick Staff provide lenses for viewing time as malleable and circular—constructing a world where the future is, in fact, possible and within reach.
 

The Word for World is Forest
Allison SMITH The Word for World is Forest glass
Ansible (hearing trumpet)
2020
glass

Photo credit Christina Linden. Photographed at a location personal to Ursula K. Leguin.

Ritual Instruments for Addressing 400 Years of Trouble (Harms Done, Harm None) series.

"The Word for World is Forest," CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.
Allison SMITH The Word for World is Forest glass
Ansibles (hearing trumpets)
2020
glass
variable dimensions

Photo credit Glen Cheriton, Impart Photography. Thanks to Minami Oya.

Allison SMITH The Word for World is Forest stoneware ceramic
Baby Urn
2019
stoneware ceramic

Photo credit Christina Linden. Photographed at a location personal to Ursula K. Leguin. Thanks to Erik Scollon.

Ritual Instruments for Addressing 400 Years of Trouble (Harms Done, Harm None) series.

"The Word for World is Forest," CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
Allison SMITH The Word for World is Forest elderberry
Magic Wand, Law of Returns
2020
elderberry
11.25" x 18.5" x 2"

Photo credit Allison Smith. Photographed at a location personal to Ursula K. Leguin.

Ritual Instruments for Addressing 400 Years of Trouble (Harms Done, Harm None) series.

"The Word for World is Forest," CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.

Allison SMITH The Word for World is Forest elderberry
Magic Wand, Law of Returns
2020
elderberry
11.25" x 18.5" x 2"

Photo credit Glen Cheriton, Impart Photography.

This magic wand consists of a naturally bent elderberry branch gathered at the gravesite of Smith’s ancestors in Bicester, England. Atypically bent at a right angle, the wand is queerly doubled with a carved hand at one end; it speaks to the Law of Returns, which states that the energy a person puts out into the world, be it positive or negative, will be returned to that person amplified.
Allison SMITH The Word for World is Forest elderberry
Magic Wand, Law of Returns (detail)
2020
elderberry
11.25" x 18.5" x 2"

Photo credit Glen Cheriton, Impart Photography

Allison SMITH The Word for World is Forest
Goddexx Statue, Stone Anchor
2019

Photo credit Allison Smith. Photographed at a location personal to Ursula K. Leguin.

Ritual Instruments for Addressing 400 Years of Trouble (Harms Done, Harm None) series.

"The Word for World is Forest," CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.
Allison SMITH The Word for World is Forest
Goddexx Statue, Molybdomancy
2019

Photo credit Allison Smith. Photographed at a location personal to Ursula K. Leguin.

Ritual Instruments for Addressing 400 Years of Trouble (Harms Done, Harm None) series.

"The Word for World is Forest," CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.

Allison SMITH The Word for World is Forest
Goddexx Statue, Molybdomancy (back)
2019

Photo credit Allison Smith. Photographed at a location personal to Ursula K. Leguin.

Ritual Instruments for Addressing 400 Years of Trouble (Harms Done, Harm None) series.

"The Word for World is Forest," CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.
Allison SMITH The Word for World is Forest


Graphic representation of Smith's ancestry since the early 1600s, an attempt to see clearly a holistic portrait of the entirety of the artist's ancestors-as-not-from-here who were impacted by the loss of their previous cultures and who forever impacted other cultures when they crossed over to Turtle Island/North America.