ESMoA Experience #47: FREESTATE


The El Segundo Museum of Art presents Experience #47: FREESTATE on exhibit both inside and outside the museum from October 8 through March 27, 2021.

Taking ESMoA and LA’s South Bay City of El Segundo as ostensible “campaign headquarters,” FREESTATE will feature new artworks that artist Cole Sternberg conceives as fabricated historical ephemeras and objects, sovereign documents, and fictional propaganda. The gallery space will be split into three rooms, forcing the viewer to experience each as a separate moment along the path to the Free Republic.

FREESTATE prolifically details and addresses concepts of human rights, the environment, democracy and freedom through a multi-media and publicly activated artistic journey, one that recalls Joseph Beuys’ 7000 Oaks (which precipitated the founding of Germany’s Green Party in 1980).

Sternberg employs sculpture in its 3-dimensional totality: physical, performative, and social to turn a mirror onto American society’s past moral choices and previously unconsidered future. The show is intentionally slated to take place just before the 2020 presidential elections.

FREESTATE is curated by Dr. Bernhard Zuenkeler.

The Free Republic of California website is complete with the plan for secession, the policies of the future, event information, local activation guidelines, visual presentations, and of course, Free Republic merchandise such as limited edition shirts hand-screened by the artist, buttons and posters. Each month 20% of the net proceeds will benefit a non-profit whose mission reflects those proposed by The Free Republic of California: The Innocence Project (October), Human Rights Watch (November), and the NAACP (December). The site will also contain a digital library of newly drafted policy papers, agreements and treaties, as well as a historical archive. One can download California’s new constitution or read about the massacre of Indigenous people by Junipero Serra’s band of marauders. The website will function ahistorically to simultaneously take into account the gravity of California’s past, the absurdities of today, and the possibilities of tomorrow. It will exist as its own digital-being – preceding and outliving the project – so that the The Free Republic of California may live online as a blueprint for a movement. Visit the website at

For additional information, visit the website at

ESMoA is located at 208 Main Street, El Segundo, California 90245.