Noah Travis Phillips

I need to find me a home right now in your heart. ~ 500 Capp St. (David Ireland)

on the advent of Noah Travis Phillips' 40th birthday

Noah Travis Phillips at 500 Capp Street
I need to find me a home right now in your heart.

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Artist: Noah Travis Phillips
Exhibition title: I need to find me a home right now in your heart.
Venue: 500 Capp Street Foundation, San Francisco, US
Date: November 2023
Photography: (modified) images copyright and courtesy of the artist

Note: Exhibition text can be found here:

    To mark the advent of their 40th birthday, 500 Capp Street is proud to present the radical aesthetics of: Noah Travis Phillips.
    The David Ireland House at 500 Capp Street is a body and world in question, the former hybrid home + museum of late Bay Area conceptualist David Ireland. 500 Capp Street is an architectural body in pieces — fragmented — its limits, interior and exterior, are ambiguous and extensive; its forms, literal or metaphorical, are no longer confined to the recognizably human; its power no longer lies in the model of unity, but in the flirtation with multiplicity and simultaneity, a network and world.
    A domestic space, deliberately provoking disquiet and unease, in order to reveal the hidden undertones of the institution, and alternative modes of habitation. Phillips amplifies these qualities through their own world-building practice. From the show’s title (likely an Otis Redding lyric); it is impossible to tell if it is Phillips themself or the animals and other(-than-human) beings present that need a home and other-world to exist in.

Constellations (groupings, accretions, … ) of imagery fill the house, many with their origins in and formatted as they are in the artist’s (Phillips) own home.
    Here, contemporary conversations and ideas merge with historic voices, echoing through the foundation like feedback. This exhibition brings together artworks from across Phillips' oeuvre into the uncanny environment of 500 Capp Street. With a wide range of aesthetics, Phillips work explores themes as varied as pagan politics, magical correspondences, anthropocene and posthuman, using "made, found, and modified" media from their personal/private archive to represent dramas and possibilities, both real and imagined (blurring that boundary). These works are intended to evoke not only Phillips' own personal mythologies but also broader social issues concerning environment and freedom.
Phillips attempts to produce narratives that would inhabit simultaneity, possibility, a visual framework to actively contemplate what might be, a constellation looking at the “&&&” in order to map the ideological confines of something more more, and metaphysical/pataphysical.

I need to find me a home right now in your heart. is an exhibition as a home, a space, rooms – and thus a world, made from some fantastical (whimsical) and surreal menagerie: of beings, things, animals, deities, materials, substances, and symbols …
living sculpture (within a beast)

Explore internal landscapes – (within the home/house/space/gallery, and self (your own and the artists’) …


In the Living room
Ego (the living planet)
Bernardine Dohrn
chains breaking at sunrise,
drawing by their child at 12 years-old, twelve times larger than the original drawing
references to mythical creatures from me,
impossible forms,
Phillips' own 3D models, and "wild shrines" they created in their youth
waxing gibbous moon above forest
& imagery from albums important to the artist Led Zeppelin's IV,
and Living in the Gleam of an Unsheathed Sword by Earth
& a softly arcing wand made of an oak branch with a gold bell attached to one end.
chimera foot and iris the messenger (Rodin fragment).
vulnerable and empowered,
the ways we and our bodies (and hearts) are answerable to worldly forces,
even as we attempt to express, enact, and realize our ideals
& an artwork from early in the artist's career 'In The Spirit of Defiance of Larger Power(s)'
a Denver red-clay brick, atop fresh, raw, fertilized organic Colorado chicken eggs, atop a square mirror
here presented atop a burning white cube
& above all this a radiometer being perpetually powered by a simple lightbulb
and a piece of rose quartz crystallized and gold-plated fulgurite ...

in the stairwell,
Dali veil / canopy as a kind of mobile, accompanied by a chandelier of disco balls and prisms (which the artist has in every room of their home)
ceiling tiles with a hole/portal/threshold to the sky
& a pair of text messages referring to the artist's young romance through and with the internet.

at the top of the stairs,
a snowball full threatening metal objects,
& a cube depicting concrete mesostructures,
a wise monk shitting light, and colorful fecal bacteria
in the adjoining room is a woman hand reaching, and a large stone (erratic? megalith?) surrounded by plantlife (moss, flora),
highs and lows of domestic dynamics

bedroom (which also looks out on the patio) is sensitive installation, referring to very earthly and cosmic themes,
floor of Jackson Pollock studio, hair on the floor, referencing the artist's own, sampled from a Frida Kahlo self-portrait,
& a panoramic collage by the artist formatted based on spilled paint,
an abstract painting of another album of paramount importance to the artist: NIN - 'The Fragile'
as well as another reference to that album cover, and a very suggestive near-erotic picture of cosmic phenomena.

on the patio itself,
monuments and statues fall, are engulfed by nature, and become nature (a living tree)
plant cell
cosmic eggs eye in the sky
wild stallions / wild horses,
& 3D models of the artist's hair that suggest interiority and exteriority, while also recalling the work of Robert Therrien.
subtle and poignant reminders that Phillips' work, even at its most theoretical, is grounded in the real world.

in the office(?):
old sign from "The Hill" neighborhood in Boulder, CO where the artist lives and works,
optical illusion (rabbit-duck) another hybrid, simultaneous creature,
and a NOYFB patch, referring to privacy and secrecies of the home
fire ant hill mound cast in aluminum,
reference to Beuys' crystal
the artist Jennifer Lord's pet Bearded Dragon,
and a crying eye
middle finger candle burning (in black)

in the corridor leading to the exterior of the home:
Yellow from a series by the artist, that also echoes the warm colors favored by Ireland throughout the house.
drama masks in neon above an EXIT sign,
glow in the dark stars
the prints left on a printing plate from someone dancing in converse shoes, "chucks" the shoes favored by Phillips' as a young artist (because they were vegan).
a wind-chime made from deer antlers, and a an overprint depicting a colorful stained-glass night forest

in the fireplace room the artist highlights works from their collection that depict fire in various ways,
ranging between a sample from hieronymous bosch (called "dancing at the gates of hell/edge of the world" by the artist)
to a picture of a burning clock,
burning rose(s)
a house on fire (perhaps the home the artist seeks, set ablaze by the passions of their own heart)
an alchemical aethenor, in which a kind of deeply-rooted blue flower sun flames,
eyes burning in a burning cloud,
a hand aflame,
fire, waves, clouds, and a spider ascending/descending,
and yet another reference to the violence of fires in California. (though the artist notes that Colorado and the American West more broadly have their fair share of wildfires)

continuing outside, the artist really plays to the yellow walls...
a trio of kind-faced suns,
Duchamp's corner-door of "11, rue Larrey" referring to another famous artist studio/residence/exhibition space,
a circle/ring that the artist describes as "from a favorite smell, and an ouroboros"
a diagram depicting the song "Modern Love" by David Bowie
accompanied by another diagram of dramatic, epic, and lyric seeing - that refers to and conjures colors not present in the space,
and a reproduction of Jim Morrison's lyrics for "Riders on the Storm" another reference to the climate crisis.
and hand disappearing through a doorway, acting as and leaving a shadow (from the interior of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures - photo by Ralph Gibson)
and an ink drawing of the artist stepping through a threshold by the artist

in the garage itself;
anti-vampirism charm
a thunderbird with a bra, meant to represent the artist's first and only car (they do not drive)
a depiction of an artwork for the artist's mother, first invented when the artist was 7-years-old consisting of a 14-car garage with 14 lamborghinis,
a neon yellow fluorescent tube bulb the corner of a gallery with a yellow post-it note in the order,
heat rock
dancing rainbow skeletons and a peace-sign made of roses

neon spiderweb
Jimmy Page playing an electric guitar with a violin bow
an AI image-misrecognition of a garter snake
an image of female internal reproductive organs resembling a mythological animal or being
a sign reading "Can't is a F*** letter word"
an impossible triangle
a weed (knotweed) growing up through cracked concrete,
a sample of a rolling tsunami-esque wave,
and four stacks of very colorful dice used to determine outcomes in tabletop gaming


    I Need to Find Me a Home Right Now in Your Heart. presents a multitude of artworks that span gaps and bridges between aesthetics and approaches within Phillips private media archive.

Planned during the Pandemic and lockdown of 2020, Phillips chose to leave the exhibition as it was, even when it was realized at a later date.
Remaining true to a sense of hope in very dark times. Dark times that the artist insists continue, and will continue.

Phillips work creates a strange archive for the cultivation of a personal mythology
where fiction, memory, dream, wish and actuality become confused, presented fluidly, architecturally, salon-style.

Phillips creates structural and gestural constellations look at the “just past,” and yet-to-come in order to map the ideological forces of the present.
At the heart of the exhibition is Noah Travis Phillips dialogue w/ David Ireland, as kindred spirits, making a life of art “no matter what”.
Phillips brings the domestic as exhibition space into this domestic museum space, cultivating a sense of deep and caring recursion, finding a home right now in the heart of Ireland's utopia. The heart is never directly depicted, but instead things meaningful to the artist,
there are references to wildfires (a feature of California, and the artist's own Colorado)
as Phillips contemplates what it means for their own heart to burn with this kind of passion / fervor.

… for this exhibition Ireland's artwork is the house, standing in for the artist, where another artist (Phillips) creates a home in their heart, in the heart of art, the heart of the audience, and deep within their own heart, realizing a lifelong fantasy.

The critical ideas of the posthuman and anthropocene, personal mythology, multicentric (anarchic) throughout Phillips' art, (that support, scaffold, surround, … )
and the language that sustains these ideas, have become fertile soil for this exhibition. In expanding and de/reconstructing the physical infrastructure of Ireland’s home, a dialogue/conversation and metafiction between Ireland and Phillips is made:
a stage is set, space is considered, architecture is confused, and it becomes difficult to separate the psychological borders between what is real and imagined.

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text by Amy Thami

I Need to Find Me a Home Right Now in Your Heart. is organized and curated by
Amy Thami & Noah travis Phillips

    Amy Thami is a poet and theorist, living between Amsterdam, Paris, and Tokyo. She teaches New Media Poetics at Bard College.

    Noah Travis Phillips is an artist, educator, and scholar (BA, Naropa University, Fine Art and Environmental Studies; MFA, University of Denver, Emergent Digital Practices). They create adaptable and multicentered artworks about a mythic anthropocene and posthuman world by activating appropriation and digital/analog remix and collage strategies, and working with both a personal media archive and open algorithmic systems. Their work incorporates 2D / 3D digital fabrication, videos, installation, performance, and the internet. Phillips is Assistant Professor & FabLab Coordinator at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. They have exhibited extensively locally, nationally, internationally, and virtually. They live and work in Boulder, Colorado and can be found online at