Claire Phillips


California Institute of the Arts School of Critical Studies presents [Cell], a collection of written works from selected participants of the Fall 2011 Body Cluster project. This publication seeks to investigate the premise of the body as a highly faceted organism, one whose fate it is to navigate the corridors of its own inevitable trappings: language. [Cell] was brought to fruition by the editing efforts of Heatherlie Allison, Jessica Felleman, and Danae Moore, who also served as designer and illustrator of the book, and by the generous support of Claire Phillips and Gail Swanlund.


The Science Fictional Grotesque

Sci-Arc Spring 2011

In response to readings and film ranging from 19th century gothic horror to 80s body horror and present day “new weird”, students are asked to perform a number of short informal exercises and longer formal works. For the first formal writing assignment students are asked to create a work in which a “grotesque object” gives rise in some way to a “grotesque interval,” a gap in perception shared by the object and the perceiver. For the second, students are then evaluated on their use of an experimental writing strategy.  This might include non-linear narrative, pastiche, substitution, formal constraints, or any number of poetic devices. For this writing assignment students translate the inorganic – a rendering, model or work of architecture — into the organic. In order to qualify as grotesque, formal boundaries and categories are to blurred or infected. A special emphasis is placed on excess.



Calarts 2009

The faster my date thrust into me the louder my cats meowed.

“Get your cats to shut the fuck up,” Said Nick.

“Please stop. Just… stop. I told you I don’t want this,”

“This is exactly what you want baby.”

I just stared at the poster I’d taped to the ceiling above my bed until it was over. A kitten hung helplessly from a tree and the mantra “Hang in there!” splashed across the top in flowery letters. Hang in there little pussycat, I thought.

Nick came and let some cum drip onto my stomach before putting himself away.



Calarts 2007


This creative writing class familiarizes students with the art of making the strange familiar or the familiar strange. Students are introduced to genre works, ranging from pre-cyberpunk SF to the present practice of “slipstream”. Both experimental and traditional story-telling techniques are reviewed with a special emphasis on prose style and hybrid narrative forms. Projects include the short story and the film treatment and are peer reviewed in a workshop format. Topics for writing exercises are drawn from an array of sources, including the study of nanotechnology, brain chemistry and ubiquitous computing. Sub-genres include space and colonization, cyborgs, future cities and women and science fiction.