Are We There Yet? (detail) 2011. Gallery installation at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. 97 boxes of 3L Black Box Chardonnay, 360 Boyardee Beef Ravioli 15 oz. tins, 83 cases of Bud Light, 624 cans of Carnation Evaporated Milk, 43 Cheerios Twin pack 37 oz., 95 cases of Coca Cola, 40 Kraft Velveeta loaves (2 x 32 ounce loaves per package), 49 boxes of Nabisco Premium Saltine Crackers 3 lb., 25 cases of Marlboro Red, 41 containers of Utz cheese balls, replica EVA Space Suit on loan from NASA, IKEA bed, pillow, duvet, gold anodized aluminum, Courtesy of the artists, Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney, and Frey Norris Contemporary & Modern, San Francisco.

deconstructed airplane

Are We there Yet? detail, 2011

deconstructed plane

Are We there Yet? detail, 2011

deconstructed plane

Are We there Yet? detail, 2011

deconstructed airplane

detail, 2011, 40 Kraft Velveeta loaves

deconstructed plane

detail, 2011, 25 cartons of Marlboro Red

Are We There Yet?


The United States is aiming to get to our nearest neighbouring planet Mars, by 2030. This desire could be seen as a noble wish that would require great drive, knowledge, will and of course money from a great nation. The road to achieving such a grand mission is capable of galvanising an entire nation- bringing the people together for a higher cause- lifting them from their worldly cares.

But what is the gap between such celestial aspirations and the gritty reality of life in post-industrial America? Put simply, we have explored this schism through the corporeal necessity of food consumption. There are different estimates as to how many Earth days is minimum amount time it will take to journey to Mars and back to Earth whilst also residing on the planet long enough to gather useful information but let us land at the number 520 for a practical start.

Five hundred and twenty days- that’s one thousand, five hundred and sixty meals, excluding snacks, what a vast amount of food to pack for a journey! But what kind of food should we pack? In the words of Henry David Theroux’s Walden:

“It would be some advantage to live a primitive and frontier life… or even to look over the old day-books of the merchants, to see what it was that men most commonly bought at the stores, what they stored, that is, what are the grossest groceries.”

Seeing that the Astronauts will be inter-planetary representatives of their nation, if not their species, should they not eat the same food that their fellow men and women (who have funded their mission) consume? According to a 2007 Nielson poll, the top ten consumer package goods in the USA were are follows: No.1 Carbonated drinks, No.2 Milk, No.3 Cigarettes, No.4 Cereal, No.5 Bread, No.6 Video products, #No.7 Bottled water, No.8 Toilet tissue, No.9 Light beer, No.10 Cookies.

Our installation at the Corcoran has utilised these statistics to physically illustrate what it is that an Astronaut would pack if they were to go to Mars, consuming the food of the Everyman: the most popularly consumed packaged goods in the USA would be brought together to nourish an Astronaut for five hundred and twenty days.

Bringing together these products that can notionally sustain an individual on a mission to Mars will illustrate the tension between our aspirations and our reality