Paul Laffoley and others in Art Bell-inspired art show

Laffoley Mel's Hole,2008
Paul Laffoley is a visionary artist whose incredible psychotronic paintings blur the line between science/fiction, art/architecture, nature/machine. Back in 2000, I wrote a short piece for Wired about Laffoley's Das Urpflanze Haus (the primordial plant house), a structure he imagined that would grow from genetically-engineered seeds. Never one to avoid the fringes of thought or reason, Laffoley has a new painting in the group show "Aspects of Mel's Hole: Artists Respond to a Paranormal Land Event Occurring in Radiospace" currently up at the Grand Central Art Center Gallery at California State University, Fullerton. For longtime listeners of Art Bell's CoastToCoast radio show, Mel's Hole is an infamous (and possibly apocryphal) locale of high weirdness. Laffoley's painting, above, is titled "Mel's Hole, 2006-2008" (38.5" x 38.5", oil, acrylic, Letraset on canvas). Click the image to see it larger. An exhibition catalog is also available. From the exhibition page:
In 1997 radio host Art Bell first introduced his listeners to Mel Waters, a man from Eastern Washington who claimed to have discovered an ancient and apparently bottomless pit on his property. The story of the hole was remarkable enough, but the subsequent events took an almost surreal bent- Mel was threatened into silence by the US military, exiled into cushy Wombat Restoration service in Australia, and tipped off to a second bottomless pit in Nevada. As the story unfolded over the course of several years, it garnered many followers, not just among connoisseurs of paranormal research, but among artists and writers as well.

After Mel's last official appearance on Bell's show in early 2002, LA Weekly art critic Doug Harvey began approaching artists to participate in a curatorial project centered on this contemporary mythological lacuna. The response was overwhelming, and on the 10- year anniversary of the disclosure of Mel's Hole, Cal State Fullerton's Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana is proud to present Aspects of Mel's Hole: Artists Respond to a Paranormal Land Event Occurring in Radiospace. The exhibit will include contributions from Georganne Deen, Jeffrey Vallance, Marnie Weber, Paul Laffoley, The Center for Land Use Interpretation, and many others.
Aspects of Mel's Hole (GGAC, thanks Richard Metzger and Doug Walla/Kent Gallery), Paul Laffoley (


  1. WeightedCompanionCube @2, SCHWA!!! Bill Barker was an old friend of bOING bOING and contributed to the print zine!

  2. Speaking of radiospace, when I met Mel, he offered to sell me a hole in Florida. 24°43′35″N 81°2′25″W

    They poured dollars down that for decades and it never filled.

  3. …You know, Coast to Coast hasn’t been worth a frack since Art left and handed it over to George Noory. He’s a competent talk show host, but not for the likes of the kooks, CT nutters, whackjobs and hoaxters(*) that Art cultivated. He’s more suited for a gardening show.

    (*) Richard Hoagland being the prime example!

  4. These holes you speak of…any relation to mystery hole(s)? Or is it the mystery hole(s)?
    Actually, The Mystery Holes would be a great name for my band.

  5. Shamelessly stolen by ad-squatters from:

    If you do a whois query, you’ll see that has only been up since 11 september, while the Cyriak site has had the animation for much longer.

    Also, reading the Wikipedia entry on this hole, it reminds me of the Lost tv series:

    “What’s in that room?”
    “Anything you want, Jack…”

  6. Whoops, kind of a double-post (I did not see my post show up immediately, and I did not realize there was a small delay for it to show up). I did add something new, though.

    #11 — redundant
    #12 — keep this post
    #13 (this one) — redundant

  7. Lafolley is AWESOME…and if you haven’t read up on Mel’s Hole, please do….high weirdness of the first degree.

  8. ORKY:

    A gift so special,
    it’ll blow off your socks
    Take a look inside —

    it’s your dad in a box!

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