Sunday, December 22, 2019


GOD? Oil on on linen 41 x 51 cm 2019

No answers
Only questions

Colourful zeros and ones
The word

This painting depicts an algorithmic representation of the word GOD  
01000111 01001111 01000100. The painting also depicts an ambiguous landscape with diagonal lines that cut through it.

So, is the binary code - the string of colourfully painted zeros and ones - a representation of GOD? Note the question mark in the title of the painting. But, there is no question mark, or instructed binary code question mark - 00111111 - depicted in the painting. Is this GOD a proxy?
Here are a few more questions! Is the painting a representation of GOD in a landscape or GOD as landscape? Is it a real landscape or a computer generated landscape? Perhaps the diagonal lines convey orienting graphics on a computer screen, maybe the screen of a remote militarised drone pilot? Maybe it is a computer game? Is there a target?

What does the binary code 'instructing' the word GOD mean? I don't have an answer - there was a lot going on in my head when I painted it! However, this question can, perhaps, be addressed with other questions, such as  - where, what and how is GOD in the age of the algorithm, the era of the drone, and the epoch of ubiquitous surveillance and increasingly autonomous systems? 

Regular readers will know where these questions come from.

A recent post HUMAN or Algorithm has more of my paintings depicting colourfully painted strings of binary code that playfully, but critically, 'instruct'.

I'll leave it to you now.


Check out the Aesthetics of Drone Warfare project, University of Sheffield, UK
And, particularly check out the project's forthcoming conference, February 2020.
I am speaking.
And, you will notice that my painting New Horizons is the conference image!


Tuesday, December 10, 2019


Australia: December 2019 Oil on linen 23 x 62 cm 2019

In Australia, as 2019 closes:

Fires rage across a dry country. 

The RAAF's MQ-B9 SkyGuardian weaponisable drones have been ordered. 


Fire changes and disrupts landscape, environment and lives.

The airborne militarised drone, a paragon of 21st century techno-power, changes war, and therefore, life.


I had a lot of thoughts rumbling in my head when I painted Australia, December 2019. But, predominantly I was reacting to current news events, the type of events that can define the future. 

Do we let these events define the future - are we letting them, define the future?


Australia, December 2019







Landscape, war and the future.
Landscape, real and virtual.
War, networked and everywhere.




Update January 1, 2020
Another fire and drone painting is discussed at
ARE WE PREPARED?  January 1, 2020

And, some paintings from 2017.

Hot Gouache on paper 56 x 76 cm 2017

Fire and Flood, Extremus Gouache on paper 56 x 76 cm 2017

Anthropocene Gouache on paper 56 x 76 cm 2017

And, the Aesthetics of Drone Warfare project's conference is in February. Here, is there promotional flyer for the conference, with my painting New Horizons as the central image. 


Wednesday, December 04, 2019


The Wind Asks, Which Direction? Oil on linen 81 x 102 cm 2019

This new painting The Wind Asks, Which Direction? is connected to another painting called Beware, Whispers the Wind [below]. 

In both paintings I am interested in how virtual landscapes and landscapes with superimposed screen-based computer graphics mediate our relationship with, and understanding of, environment. In The Wind Asks, Which Direction? red and white lines mimic computer graphics overlaid onto a landscape which could be real or not real? Is this an image from a computer game, or maybe an image on a remote drone pilot's computer screen? A compass exposes a tension between the real and not real, its four cardinal points are all 'N'. But does this 'N' mean 'north', or does it mean 'no direction', 'nowhere', 'nihilism', 'nothingness'? The compass has no dial.

Red trees-of-life, positioned in the background landscape, sway in the wind. However, one sways one way and the other sways in the opposite direction. Does this mean there is turbulence out in the landscapes of reality, the wind agitating for our attention? Does it indicate that when the wind blows in one place, it can blow another way in a different place - like in real life? Maybe the trees attempt to restore reality by demonstrating that the wind still exists? But, could these trees be sending a warning, that direction is lost in a world where the fake compass, a metaphor for the 21st century, has wielded its influence? The red trees-of-life differ from the white trees 'planted' on the red line graphic. The white trees are the same colour as the compass. The trees are as fake as the fake compass. What are we witnessing?

The tension between reality and the virtual is also indicated by the small squares of colour that appear to form parts of the landscape. These squares mimic pixels. Are they indicators that the background landscape is a computer generated image? Or, do they indicate that this landscape pretends to be virtual, as a subterfuge - a strategic measure of exposure. Or, do they warn us that pixels are indicators of images formulated and generated for humans by machines - after all, machine learning and AI tools do not really need a generated image to scope for data?  

As a painting The Wind Asks, Which Direction? act as a resistance. It does so by not relying on digital and cyber platforms for creation, exhibition and storage. Although not reliant on these platforms painting can still critique - and - from a distance, where there is room for perspective.

The Wind Asks, Which Direction? and Beware, Whispers the Wind are examples of my attempts to visually think through how militarised and militarise-able systems, platforms and devices occupy,  mediate and militarise landscape and extended environment. 

My Painting I Painted The Wind [bottom] was painted in 2001.


 Beware, Whispers the Wind  Oil on linen 61 x 97 cm 2019

I Painted the Wind Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm 2001