Sunday, January 20, 2019


 Pacific Currents Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2019

What do I mean by 'Landscape Deception", the title of this blog post? I think it can mean a number of things  eg: perhaps landscape itself employs deceptive means, perhaps landscape is hijacked by fake landscapes that deceive? 

Regular readers know of my long-term interest in landscape generally, and my more specific interest in what I call the militarisation of landscape. I see the latter as an insidious occupation of landscape by the signalling systems that enable near light speed operation of miltiarised technology and militarise-able technology. Here, I not only include things like drone operation, but also, things like manipulation of social media, hacking into financial and communication systems, monitoring of personal devices, access to personal data and so on. That militarisable technology includes civilian systems reliant on signals and cables, and their associated infrastructure such as satellites, data centres, relay stations, cannot be ignored.

The three new paintings in this post reflect upon ideas of deceptive landscape, or the deception of landscape. 


Pacific Currents [above] depicts the flow of Pacific water currents on the left. On the right I have painted a map of the undersea cables that connect across the Pacific ocean. These undersea cables, while tangible, are also essentially invisible. Yet, they enable the operation of 21st century networked technology. 

In Multi Mission [below] cabling from Creech airbase in the Nevada desert connects with the US Air Force base in Ramstein, Germany. From there signals sent to and from a satellite enable airborne drones to undertake missions. Signals sent by subterranean and undersea cables, and signals sent by wave frequencies into and from space, are invisible. I 'see' them as creating new 'topographies' that net the planet from underground/sea to space. 

 Multi Mission Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 

The invisibility of these new 'topographies' can be associated with deception. In Deception Perspective [below] I have painted cross-hairs to create an illusion of perspective. That the cross-hair on a camera or gun helps draw a subject/victim closer cannot be ignored. It is a way of using targeted perspective. 

In the painting I have painted three large red cross-hairs in a row. I have then painted white cross-hairs in diminishing sizes to give the illusion of perspective. These cross-hairs parody the cross-hairs on lenses, computer screens, imaging devices. They are part of the insidiously invisible signaling net that wraps the planet, the new landscape of deception.

So, is landscape deceived or deceiving. Are we deceived or are some of us deceiving? Is anyone even aware of what is happening?

These three paintings are part of my - signalscapes, dronescapes, militarised landscapes work

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