Message Inside

H18" x L32" x W10"
Mixed Media

The blue-gray piece of wood is a boat. On the upper deck a bullet emerges from the surface to penetrate a painted Chinese fortune cookie representing the bridge. Inside the bridge is a warning : 'message inside'. Technology used wrongly will eventually suffer the wrath of Nature. One is reminded of a recent incident when South Korea was having its democratic elections and China was initiating war games near by on the coast of the mainland. The US sent over an aircraft carrier to strut its discontent. The artist had the impish image of a million or two Chinese military swimming out to the carrier, rocking it until it capsized and sank and then returning back to shore.

The large base of the sculpture presents the water upon which the boat moves. It a piece of discarded 150 year old quarter sawn oak from England. (This reminds one of the anthem, "Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves…") The grains in the wood are shaped in such a way as to depict a large wake left by the boat. Sprinkled fluorescent, gold and silver sparckles are embedded in the grains of the wake. These sparckles would be the poisons left behind by the dispersion of armed technology; specifically, the depleted uranium in Iraq and Yugoslavia.

The inscription on the side of the boat reads, "USS ROGUE". From the concise Oxford dictionary we get:

Rogue: n.

  1. Dishonest or unprincepled person; scoundrel;
  2. Inferior or defective specimen among many that are acceptable;

During a radio interview in January 1999, Noam Chomsky, a linguist, said that in the true sense of the word, the best practicing example of 'rogue' is the nation of the United States of America and its buddies. Recently, the US has changed the term to 'nations of concern'.

Peter Cooke * 1233 Mount Maxwell Road * Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2H7 * (250) 537-4617

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