An Unsearchable Distance is inspired by the numerous failed searches for the purported Northwest Passage. For several centuries explorers assumed that the elusive passage was somewhere just beyond the horizon and out of sight. It never was. Nonetheless, voyagers drew many speculative maps that invented the undiscovered water route—a practice that blinded them from true discovery and laced their journeys with a lurking foregone futility. More than misguided navigation, this history of exploration demonstrates how an imagined landscape was willed into existence through the power of subjective vision and an attitude of uncompromising authority over the landscape.The aftermath of these failed expeditions is a dramatically altered environment that has been continuously shaped to accommodate ever-changing and self-aggrandizing goals. The contemporary landscape is now riddled with structures that have fallen into disrepair, been reused, and haphazardly preserved—creating a real sense of ineffectiveness in such earth-shaping efforts. Various constructions and worn down facades reveal multiple layers of past misjudgments, and serve as a reminder that each newly imagined idea might eventually appear shortsighted. The built environment seems to offer one proof: that the world is malleable, but not controllable, as it constantly changes in response to our desires, stories, and collective will.
2017 – 2022