Volume I, Number 5, Fall / Winter 2005 - 2006


© Copyright 2005


Jim Hornung

A collision of art & science

by Dennis Paul Batt & Jim Horniung


Jim Hornung's archeo-art research team has recently discovered the existence of "good spirit" assemblages called Zocateqs. The mythical bone creations were articulated with the bones of different animals. Research indicates that the use of different animals gave the Zocateq the attributes of those animals, characteristics that created a strong and powerful spiritual guardian of the native culture.


Some piece have been left natural and some have been decorated with 22 kt yellow gold and 12 kt white gold. The expeditionary team learned that the Zocateqs were strategically placed in a room to protect the environment from evil spirits. On the darker side, the previously discovered Tupilaq was created with the intent to destroy an enemy.


Because of the perishable nature of a Zocateq, surviving specimens are very rare. The decorative ceremonial and ritual pieces are even more unique.

The Zocateq, officially named polyzocateq paleophylpphlaxis, is skillfully designed ancient protective skeletal species. The research team continues to expand their base of knowledge and search for new discoveries.


This was the latest news from world-renowned archeo-artist Jim Hornung. Jim granted www.artistsezine.com this exclusive interview to look into the man behind these incredible discoveries.

DB: What is your family background?

JH: I feel I was a product of a cosmic birthing process. In college I evolved into a wandering embryo. To this day there hasn't been much growth. My grandfather was a paleontologist/brewmeister from Ballenberg, Germany. It was he who instilled in me the quest for eternal knowledge.

DB: Where did you receive your formal education?

JH: I received my BSFAA degree from the National Academy for Geohistoric Science. I then went on and received my MAA from the same school.

DB: What does BSFAA mean?

JH: Big Scientific Freaking Archeo Art.

DB: What is Archeo-Art?

JH: The anatomy of imagination and the collision of art and science. Art and science are the fertile territories for the imagination.

DB: What was your first discovery?

JH: My first find was in Upstate New York at a throughway interchange near my families summer estate. I found a nest of hatchlings.


JH: This led to numerous expeditions throughout the world with many more unique finds adding to our understanding of the universe. The National Academy for Geohistoric Science sponsored my expeditions.


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DB: What are some of the creatures you have discovered/re-created?

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Biped . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Quadraped

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Turkle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Turkles

JH: I've found the Tupilaq (Pelicat), various large bipeds, including the Verta Biped and the Two-headed Biped (La Brea Creature), several Quadrapeds, along with Turkles of all sizes.

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La Brea Creature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Verta Biped

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Mother & Hatchling . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . Quadraped

DB: I noticed you have discovered numerous "Fertility Objects". Could you please describe them?

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JH: These items and others similar in shape and construction may have been used in reproductive rites or fertility ceremonies. The objects were varied in size and shape and possessed an organized placement and number of circumference girdling points. The choice of spheroid shaped bodies made from seed pod containers would be analogous to an egg, a common representation for reproduction or the cosmic creation myth. The double bulb shape clearly resembles a pregnant woman. The use of gold and the variety in shape, size and the number of points may be an indication of the owner's social status or personal wealth in the community. The choice of organic materials used indicates these items may have been used in some sort of reproductive rites or fertility ceremony. This is in keeping with native cultures prayer and ritual offerings concerning fertility and the successful reproduction of both flora and fauna for their societal use.

DB: You have also found numerous "Totems". What are they?

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JH: Totems represent an intimate relation that exists between an individual and natural object. Within these totems, faces and appendages are represented that bridge the gap between man and animal. A transmigration of physical strength and spiritual power occurs between man and animal through the ceremonial use of totems.

DB: What are some of the other cultures that use this type of ceremonial object?

JH: The figurative skeletal pieces are historically representative of the native northern Inuit and Aleut culture. Included are totem, totem faces, and decorative fertility objects.

DB: Can you describe some of the preservation/assembly methods you use?

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JH: These pieces have been gilt with both the water and oil techniques. I have used both 22 kt yellow gold and 12 kt white gold. Some of the pieces have been burnished with an agate stone and some areas have been left matte. A gentle pumice rub has been used to create a look of antiquity.

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For me the act of creation involves the discovery, selection and rearrangement of existing organic materials and objects. The viewer should bring some of their own experiences to these pieces and have some discoveries of their own.

Then Jim went ahead and conducted the rest of the interview by himself.

JH: What inspires and motivates you?

JH: Ummmmm…. Power, sex and dead things, that's not really so strange as many would think. In this culture physical death may not be so revered, but that's a narrow view. Many people feel it's a transition to a higher spiritual level. In addition if you have a dead animal, road kill, or leftovers from a big holiday dinner you have to be really motivated to take care of it quickly. The decomposition process is not really a flowery event. It requires quick action, fortitude and the cooperation from family members. If you don't take care of the remains expeditiously it can smell really, really bad.

JH: Where do some of your ideas come from?

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JH: I wish I could bottle the answer to that one and sell it retail. I could be financially a wealthy person. Ummm…. Ideas and creativity jump and appear as you are working on things. It's those little incremental changes in a piece that lead to the creative process.... Oh, you know like when you're sitting on the potty. Wow .…now that might be a good one to bottle, I have read there was and still is a place for a good piece of crap.

JH: How did you start on this project?

JH: Scary elementary school nuns and lots of frightening nightmares early in life. My parents were very European, so I tried to turn it into something good and positive. The little creatures are really protectors of the culture, my culture.…(pause).… like the gargoyles on those medieval cathedrals. They come alive at night and swoop around town and protect me from those nuns.… and homeless beggars.

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JH: After reviewing all the credentials you have, it is a very impressive list.

JH: Oh Yeah, all that. They have been bestowed on me, kinda like being knighted, by a number of organizations I made up. It's all very impressive. They really do represent something and they are impressive, and give a certain level of authority and credibility. I can't really remember what they all mean right now but the masses need some of that because when it comes to art, some people need reinforcement in their decisions as to what they like. It helps them…. and just because I made it up doesn't mean it's not true.

JH: Do you have any favorites?

JH: Yeah …I sent the word out around Thanksgiving last year and all my friends gave me their leftover dead turkey dinners…. really. I had maybe a dozen or so shaved clean turkey skeletons that I had to prep and clean. What could be more inspiring than a pile of picked clean buzzard bodies? Birds have beautiful, gracefully shaped breastbone that I like to look at. You know.…that breast thing and all.

JH: What are your plans for the future?

JH: Well…ummmm…. I would like to work on some larger pieces. You know a colossal type beast…. (Long pause)…. And maybe draw a bit. Boy…. I don't want to go back to cleaning toilets and washing dishes anymore so I'm kinda pressured to doing this art thing. You know .…(pause)…. making stuff.

JH: Well thank you for your time.
JH: No….well thank you.
JH: Yes, thanks again.
JH: Of course thank you.
JH: Thanks. It's been interesting.
JH: No…. thank you.
JH: Yes, thank you.
JH: No…. thank you.

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