Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Cosmic Dreaming: Simulation? Oil on linen 31 x 56 cm 2018

Continuing with my 'pale blue dot' interest, I introduce you to Cosmic Dreaming: Simulation? (Exo-Planets). 

I was thinking about recent discoveries of potentially habitable exo-planets [example NASA site] orbiting distant stars. And, I was thinking about the unlikelihood of humans retreating to alternative planets outside our solar system in the near future, let alone the not-so-near future. That there might be life [of some kind] on these distant exo-planets is certainly intriguing though. 

But, with regards to humans travelling in space, getting to Mars is difficult enough! Plus, Mars will be obliterated, along with the rest of our solar system, when the sun reaches its final demise in around 4 billion years. So, staying within the solar system is doomed! Getting to Mars, though, is a stepping stone for all sorts of reasons. 

I was also thinking about the urgent need to look after the planet we do call home - Earth. We need to look after the planet, its non-human inhabitants and ourselves in order to sustain life. No good having escape plans, to set up home on an exo-planet, if we perish before we develop technology that will allow us to retreat elsewhere. But, this may be our fate...

While I was thinking about planetary sustainability, I was also thinking about simulation and dreams. 

So, is my painting an image from a dream, where alternative habitable planets, other 'pale blue dots', offer tantalising refuge for a beleaguered human species? Or, is the painting an image of a simulation, perhaps a game...a way to dupe us into thinking there are alternatives? The painting is not a game though.

Regular readers know of my interest in contemporary militarised technology, ubiquitous surveillance and increasingly autonomous weapon systems. While Cosmic Dreaming: Simulation? (Exo-Planets) does not refer directly to weapons or surveillance, it is linked to my dronescapes. It is linked by the cosmic perspective I take in many of my paintings. This perspective allows the viewer to fly. For example, in Cosmic Dreaming: Simulation? (Exo-Planets), are you above, below or beside the three pale blue dots? Are you on another planet, or in a spacecraft? Or, are you a spirit, a ghost from the future, maybe 10 billion years time - long after our solar system existed? Or perhaps you are a downloaded mind transmitted, ad infinitum, along an energy wave of some kind? Are you caught in some kind of simulation? 

As a painting, Cosmic Dreaming: Simulation?(Exo-Planets)offers many alternative interpretations. But, for me,  the power of human 'vision', in all its permutations - sight, insight, imagination and dreams - is an overarching consideration. This painting is, therefore, a resistance to the insidious infiltration of technological scoping, disguised as 'vision'. 


Look again at that dot. (Sagan) Oil on linen 23 x 29.5 cm 2017

                                              Showing Them Our Home Oil on linen 30 x 56 cm 2017


No comments: