The Geocentric Model: Drew Etienne
"The Geocentric Model"
Paintings by Drew Etienne
NIACC Art Gallery
The Geocentric Model
“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.”
-Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future In Space, 1994
This vision of a small sliver of the unfathomable number of potential planets in our Cosmos was created using the same natural chemical processes that are constantly at work on our planet Earth. Perhaps in
the past you’ve looked down at a puddle of wet sand or mud and noticed how much the small channels of water cutting through mimic the same structure seen in an aerial view of a large river delta. Of course they would look the same, they, like the rest of the Cosmos, are all governed by the same physical laws.
So it is unsurprising that, using natural physical materials at a small scale, I may arrive at something that looks so much like a distant unexplored planet. The inks used for these pieces were made from: foraged goldenrod, black walnuts, acorn caps, oak galls, pokeberries, clay dust, salvaged copper, steel, rust, chalk, charcoal, and leftover onion skin, and avocado pits. The titles were taken from exoplanets discovered in 2016, of which there were 1,497.