Sam Malabre

[1]: These Colors: The Secret Paintings of General Norman Schwarzkopf
[2]: The Return
[3]: What’s so Hollow About the Earth?
[4]: Dust Knights

[ WORK 1 ] These Colors: The Secret Paintings of General Norman Schwarzkopf

Media: Video Essay
Date: 2020
Link: Playlist

[ 1 ] about:

After an unreal discovery in the CIA’s Modernist Art Collection, I try to recount the still secret paintings of General Norman Schwarzkopf. Using accessible sources, from unpunished war crime accusations and glowing obituaries, to creative biographies and hobbyist fact sheets, I connect the General’s works to the near century of U.S. war and empire that informed them. I hope to examine how a diffuse and mediated, leaked and recounted, information landscape and practices informed by it, seek to escape, yet ultimately express, U.S. imperial power.

Part 1. The Melzac Collection and the Schwarzkopf Contribution

In which I detail my visit to CIA Head Quarters, my encounter with Carolyn Reams [the agency’s Social Media Lead], and my discovery of Norman Schwarzkopf’s Retirement Paintings.

Part 2. Art and the Military Arts

In which I attempt to piece together what inspired Norman Schwarzkopf to take up painting. I detail the General’s life-long fascination with the Military Arts and the artistic interests of the historic commanders the General admired.

Part 3. Color Studies and Covert Ops

In which I recount the history of the Federal Standard Colors that Schwarzkopf utilized in his paintings and the police, military, and covert careers or Schwarzkopf and his father, Schwarzkopf Sr., before him.

Forthcoming [Part 4, Part 5, Part 6]:

Part 4. Works on Paper and Repainting

Part 5. Color Fields and Unexploded Ordnance

Part 6. Action Painting, Smoke Screens, and Incendiary Weapons

[ WORK 2 ] The Return

Media: Digital Game
Date: 2020
Link: Play

[ 2 ] about:

Traverse a recursive world spawned from the detritus of early 2000s first-person shooters.

[ 2 ] Sketchbook:

[ WORK 3 ] What’s so Hollow about the Earth?

Media: Pen and Paper Roleplaying Game
Date: 2020
Link: Download

[ 3 ] about:

Made for the #wscajam as a possible alternative to recently announced Hellboy RPG, but also about how the premise of a lot of Hellboy stories, that U.S. intelligence was fighting, instead of collaborating with, fascists during the Cold War is dead wrong. 

All Images and Assets are from U.S Military and Intelligence Agencies.

[ WORK 4 ] Dust Knights

Media: Physical Game
Date: 2020
Link: Download

[A Small, Home-Crawling Game of Microscopic Exploration ]

[ 4 ] Premise:

Dust Mites can’t drink water. They absorb it from the air. If the humidity drops too low, they’ll dry out and die. So they hide in the dark, huddled together, minimizing the surface area of their bodies exposed to the air to prevent water from escaping. In times of water retention, brave dust mites venture out into The Kingdom of Yorhomm to protect their hibernating kin. You will guide one of these bands of Dust Knights on their dry and dangerous duty!

The Artist

Sam Malabre [ they / them ]

Sam is a grad student in Design | Media Arts at UCLA and a Game Master at the UCLA Game Lab. They make work about US imperialism, escapist fantasies, and the intersection between the two.