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Letter from Alice May Williams

Letter from Alice May Williams

Jim Allen, Hany Armanious, Eve Armstrong, Dan Arps, The Estate of L. Budd, Steve Carr, Shane Cotton, Simon Denny, Jacqueline Fraser, Zac Langdon-Pole, Chris Lipomi, Michael Parekowhai, Campbell Patterson, Seraphine Pick, Sriwhana Spong, Michael Stevenson, Imogen Taylor, et al.

Until this Saturday 15 September 2012

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In 1931, Alice May Williams of Auckland, New Zealand began writing a series of letters to Dr Edison Pettit and Dr Seth B. Nicholson, astronomers at the Mount Wilson Observatory in Pasadena, California. The five surviving letters outline her knowledge of sky-machines, bodies linked by radio to souls, and give instructions for the building of devices in which people might travel between planets. They also contain glimpses of Alice’s daily life in a series of rented rooms in Mt Eden, Karangahape Road and Ponsonby, where newspaper advertisements communicated directly to her, extraterrestrial voices addressed her in the cinema, and landladies mocked her to her face. It was in these fraught domestic circumstances that Alice May Williams conducted her correspondence with a pair of famous scientists whom she regarded as her equals in the exploration of space: “If I die my knowledge may die with me, & no one may ever have the same knowledge again.”


Who No: Letters from Alice May Williams by David Herkt has been published by Michael Lett to accompany the exhibition.
Copies are available through the gallery.

Special acknowledgement to David Herkt and Objectspace, Auckland.

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