Manifest Destiny

Collage: Kinkade cottage, astronaut. 15 1/4 x 19 in. framed.
Collage: pretty home, astronaut. 15 1/4 x 19 in. framed.

A response to “Eye Of God“.

I have always been intrigued by the technological extension of America’s Manifest Destiny, that doctrine that says Europe’s expansion into and conquest of the North American continent was justifiable and even divinely sanctioned. Today, there is little land left to conquer, but we keep pushing onward: technology enables both the exploration of microscopic space by the dividing of matter into smaller and smaller pieces (patent lawyers ready to stake their claim), and the colonization of outer space by governments and—soon—mining companies.

Zoe’s explorer floats in front of her objective, only to discover that she also is being searched (is the astronaut blushing?). In the face-mask of my astronaut (who has discovered a strange world indeed) we see reflected the romantic ideals of exploration … a principle wielded by the painters who fueled the manifest destiny in the 19th Century with their over-dramatic depictions of The West, and by the scientists who today drench space photos in false color to make our new frontier more comprehensible, or maybe, more attractive.


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