moonhaus was an installation and event series at the John Nicholas Brown Center Public Humanities LAB from March 16-20, 2018 that engaged with the resurgence of traditions of wisdom like astrology, crystal healing, and earth magic in contemporary popular culture. Visitors, or "companions," were invited to consider how these practices inform how we make sense of ourselves, each other, and the world around us.
What meanings can we find in these traditions and practices, regardless of our spiritual beliefs?
What kinds of words and concepts do they give us, and how do we use them?
What kinds of personal reflection and social interaction do they inspire?
moonhaus was an experiment in inclusive, non-directive, feminist community building. Over the course of three days, moonhaus welcomed over 100 Brown students, faculty, and staff as well as Providence community members to events including a non-traditional séance and sleepover, an open haus, and a spring equinox party. Companions could also simply enjoy the installation, which included a library of works by female-identified authors and texts on astrology and the occult; a fully stocked crafting area; a kitchen filled with tea and snacks; an altar to the spring; birth chart interpretation guides; and multiple lounge areas.
For this project, I collaborated with Public Humanities graduate, interdisciplinary author, administrator, artist, and burqueña Rica Maestas. To learn more about moonhaus, check out our episode of the Public Work podcast.
moonhaus received funding from the Brown Arts Initiative Student Grant as well as from the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage.
Photos by Jesse Banks III.