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36 x 24 in

Northern Paiute Lithium top soil, acrylics, aerosols, graphite on birch wood panel.

On View at Russo Lee Gallery, Portland, Oregon August 3- September 2, 2023

GHOSTS IN THE MACHINE (2022-2023) series of 21 paintings is a study in gray scales, featuring wild harvested Northern Paiute lithium top soil collected during my travels through Northern Nevada and Southern Oregon in the past three years. This work is my response to the burgeoning global AI technocratic state that is threatening human freedom through the violent extraction of rare earth minerals like Lithium (Li) from sacred Tribal spiritual grounds for the sole benefit of Western electric elitism.

The title of the exhibition is a direct visual response to the US army recruitment video of the same name, alluding to the reality that we are being tracked, traced and databased by the US military industrial complex via transnational corporations, which they state in the video is an ongoing PSYWAR (Psychological Warfare).

During my active resistance (2016-2020) to the Jordan Cove Energy Projects I directly experienced censorship, spying, and technological interference on my personal devices and social media apps. Jordan Cove, a subsidiary of Pembina, a Canadian corporation, would have transported Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) across 500 waterways in Southern Oregon to an export terminal in Coos Bay to sell to foreign markets. I’m currently a plaintiff suing the State of Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) Titan Fusion Center for illegally spying on me and violating my first amendment rights to resist a major environmental and cultural threat to my ancestral homelands and clean water ways.

Since successfully stopping Jordan Cove Energy Projects, I have been supporting Tribal communities and elders of the Northern Paiute, Western Shoshone and Bannock peoples who are actively resisting multiple proposed foreign Lithium mines surrounding the Ft McDermitt reservation on the Oregon and Nevada border. The corporations create narratives that “Green” mining is good for the environment, without revealing the truth about Sacrifice Zones and Man Camps.

GHOSTS IN THE MACHINE is a visual matrix of grayscales, layering wild harvested Lithium top soil, metal detritus stencils found at Modoc Point studio ranch, acrylic and aerosol paints. The found metal detritus stencils visually represent machinery, grids, bots, and perhaps unidentified flying objects.

Ka’ila Farrell-Smith (b. 1982) is a Klamath Tribal member who works and resides in her ancestral homelands at Modoc Point studio.

To learn more about impacts of Lithium mining on Tribal sacred grounds:


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