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San Francisco, CA


A monthly art collective featuring work inspired by a one sentence statement.

They Sent Us Simple Shapes

April 2016

They Sent Us Simple Shapes

Max Hawkins

They sent us simple shapes. To demonstrate. Their modest understanding. Of arithmetic. The organic molecules. They had recently observed. A crude depiction of their. Planet. And star. A large arrow. Pointing to their planet. “We are here.” They wanted us to know.

After some deliberation. We sent a reply. Yes. We are aware.

Soon. They sent us messages. Unceasingly. This was not our. Intention. To start a. Dialogue.

They have a fixation. On measuring. Counting. Ranking. They assume that quantity is. A relevant quality. “Here are our six-thousand. Languages. We have eight-billion. People. We have many. Atoms of carbon. Nitrogen. How many do you. Have.” There is fear. In the questioning. “Do you have water. Water is important. To us. Do you require. Water. Do you prefer. Water, or. Nitrogen. We see you have. Both.” This is important. To them.

We have images. Of their nude bodies. From all angles. They keep sending. Their bad. Music. Bad.

They ask us. “Did you carve. These patterns into our. Rocks.”  


“Did you move. The rocks. Then.”


“Perhaps you changed. The rocks, then. From shiny. Rocks to dull. Rocks.”

No. We did not. Do anything. To your rocks.  

“We have much. In common.” They insist. “We are both. Intelligent.” They intend to say. They have. Awareness of their senses.

They are. Curious to compare. The sharpness of their. Senses. To ours. But have not inquired. To the existence. Of photon-coupling. Horizon-folding. Time-simulation. Our senses. They don't know. What. They don't know. Unlike us.

They insist. That they are. The only intelligent. Beings on their. Planet. But we have. Communicated with. The owls. For some time. Of course.

They asked. Us. To appear on. Their. Earth. At this we decided. To cease. Communication. Obviously. We could. But it would take. Some effort.  

No. No. We have important. Work to do.