This work is called Prognosticators, for the universal child’s game of predicting the future, called “fortune teller” or “cootie catcher” in the U.S. and “solnitza” in Bulgaria. The game exists in some form in most cultures.

This large installation of folded tarpaper addresses issues of fossil fuels – referencing the 113 states, provinces and countries that produce oil. Each “prognosticator” is numbered for one of the countries. The installation’s presence on the gallery’s white marble floor is silent and dark testament to our universal reliance on fossil fuels, as well as the question of our future – the recent oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and the ongoing ones in the Niger Delta in offer rich subject matter.

The material – ordinary roofing paper – is evocative in its smelly blackness of many psychic states. I grew up making frequent visits to the ooze of the La Brea Tar Pits in my native Los Angeles, California, where artifacts are still excavated. For me, this underground source of fossils, bones, fuel and prehistory is analogous to the upwelling of images from a mysterious source. Photos: Ivan Peikov.