Saturday, December 26, 2015


 Exo Gouache and watercolour on paper 21 x 30 cm 2015

'Exo' a prefix, has Greek origins. It means external, outside from. In the last few years I have been introduced to the word exoplanet, which is a planet that orbits another star ie: it is outside our solar system. Astronomers have discovered quite a number of exoplanet candidates, which then go through further analysis before they are confirmed as exoplanets. Of these a small number are considered to be orbiting in the habitable zone of their host suns. To be considered as potentially habitable, the planet must orbit in the Goldilock's Zone ie: not too hot nor too cold, thus the possibility of an environment that may support human life. Or, the other tantalising possibility is that an alien life may exist on these planets.

Previous exoplanet posts!
Super Earths
New World Habitability: Vacation Anyone?

'Exodus' is a noun, again with Greek origins, that means a mass departure of somewhere 'outside of' or 'external to' a place of origin. The discovery of exoplanets has some people dreaming of alternative planetary 'homes' for us humans. For example as the Earth tumbles towards its demise, whether human induced or not, maybe there are places we humans can escape to? The only problem is that identified potentially habitable exoplanets are a looooong way from Earth, with present propulsion technology delivering us there in multiple hundreds of thousands of years. We'd need to develop speed of light travel to drastically reduce travelling time...let alone various other issues.

Previous 'Exodus' post:

My painting  Exo [above] could be of an exoplanet, but then again it could be something else that's outside or external...but from what? Maybe it is another universe? Maybe it's inspiration, freedom, a speck of dust, a thought...waiting to be grasped?

Yes, Exo it is one of my cosmic landscapes that can be 'read' as something vast at the same time as something intimate. By playing with perspective I try yo give a sense of movement or travelling...perhaps a speed of light kind of travel?

Exodus Gouache and watercolour on paper 34.5 x 44 cm 2015

In Exodus I imagine humans having to flee Earth to take up 'residence' on a distant exoplanet identified as welcoming! In this painting a person is glued to their computer, while a rocket takes off with a flight path that sees it traverse space before 'leaving' the known to venture into the unknown beyond the painting. 

Here's a 'haves and haves not' scenario for you! I imagine that some people will be chosen to leave and others will be convinced, through simulation, that they are also to leave. But, because life has become a simulated 'experience' they are unaware that mortal death actually awaits them. I wrote this short poem a couple of years ago for my Flick of a Switch post: 

It’s time for Earthlings to flee their dying planet. Another home had been prepared. The ships have been built and one by one the people come, ready to embark.
The nervous excitement soars as count-down is commenced.
The last few seconds... 3-2-1
Blast off!
A sensation of flight.
For some, the simulated experience is so comforting that mortal death arrives before they realise it.
For others ...a new life!


Exo and Exodus are part of my ongoing series looking into the future of humanity, ideas of untethering landscape from Earth-bound horizons, posthuman futures, age-old symbols and more....
Please check out some of my recent posts: 

No comments: