The concept behind KEPLER X-47 was initially sparked by the Museum of Contemporary Art’s “Under the Big Black Sun” exhibit featuring California art from 1974-1981. In 1978, conceptual artist Lowell Darling ran for governor of California using a tongue-in-cheek campaign. One of Darling’s proposals was to create a “Human Zoo” – all animals would be returned to their original habitats and the government would hire the unemployed, who would wear animal costumes and get paid from the zoo’s proceeds.

I wanted to explore further the idea of humans being held captive like animals, but by choice. It is normal for people to be chained to their desks, to live in one box for most of the year. Our workaholic culture rewards a live-to-work lifestyle. Though United States is categorized as a first-world country, we have a higher rate of suicide, stress, anxiety, mental illness, and a lower lifespan than many other first-world countries.

Most of us accept life as it is, without question, and are willingly chained by the pursuit of a tainted American Dream. Ultimately, Kepler X-47 is an examination of humanity, the absurd living conditions we have created for ourselves, and how most people would choose security and being comfortable over the unknown, even if it would mean being giving up our freedom.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my film.

Best Regards,

Erin Li
KEPLER X-47 Director, Co-Writer, Producer