A Projection of the Colonial Imaginary

This body of work approaches the Canary Islands as a site which attracts agents that explore, claim, colonize and transform worlds. Christopher Columbus departed from the Canary Islands on his journeys to claim whatever he “found,” helping inaugurate Modernity — a transformation structured on lasting social inequalities, set in motion with great loss of life and freedom to colonized people. The night sky by which early explorers navigated is now mapped by the gaze of optical/infrared telescopes that dot the peaks of the islands — islands once at edge of ancient Greek maps. While colonial ships required captain and crew, autonomous planetary rovers are currently being tested on Canarian volcanic terrain standing in for alien landscapes. Lichen are colonizers of barren rocks like volcanic landforms; the organism’s ability to withstand radiation makes them prime candidates to terraform other planets. When intelligent robots and lichen become the first colonizers of other planets, then what?