This tetraptych etching w/aquatint depicts a stark and pessimistic future, in which the Realpolitik that has guided our foreign policy the past 60 years takes on a life of its own and the cycle of unjustifiable violence perpetuates its own existence until there is nothing left. The post 9-11 world is this future coming to fruition. Thematically continuing from the series The Four this image, with Atra Mors and Frontier's End constitute the beginning of a new series called Posterity. The subtitles of each element in Imperium American take off from Papal Bulls that were written to justify the actions of the Church. The upper left is Intra Arcana which authorized warfare to spread the word of Christ. To the right is Ineffabilis Providentia which detailed the strictures of Jubilee Year preparation and celebration. Below is Ad Extirpanda which suggested the use of torture against heretics. The final piece is titled Sic transit gloria mundi which is a phrase uttered during the papal Coronation ceremony and translates to: "Thus passes the glory of the world." I do not want this future to come to life, as I am sure no one in their right mind does, so it is literally our responsibility to make sure it does not come to pass.
This etching is dedicated to the now abandoned exploration of space. Our species has always moved beyond our borders; that momentum has not only stopped but has begun to recede. Contemporary life has benefited to no end thanks to the innovative minds that sent truly brave men and women outside of the protective cradle of our planet so that they can learn and discover. Now that drive to explore has been supplanted with the insatiable hunger to exploit and posses. It burns me to no end that we are becoming a society that no longer revels in intelligence and scientific discovery but only in assimilating and consuming. We are locust, we are Borg, we are now a blight on our very species' growth and evolution. Just as the rise of Christianity destroyed most of the technical revolutions of the Roman empire, our fanatical Consumerism is undoing the very notion of progress. In but a generation from now, the hopes and dreams that were given life from the Space Age will fade away to the history books.