What lies beneath is obscured from the eyes and memory but never erased.  The race to find H2O on the moon has less to do with discovery, and more to do with the burn and lay waste policies that are wiping out this planet’s ecosystems.  This is definitely not rocket science.

Considering the length of time it took for all of the wonders of nature to form under and on top of this crust we stand on, the rate of speed with which they are being so ungracefully de-formed is all the more alarming.  The whole of the destruction carried out in the name of progress is far more spectacular than the sight of any great wonder of nature; any disaster shaped through wind, water or fire as this world turns in space.

And yet, the very doing of these spectacular deeds is often hidden from view, cordoned off behind high security perimeters.  Those perimeters are necessary for reasons of safety, yet they serve the dual purpose of de-emphasizing the impact of these sites.  What is not seen is not understood in its entirety and these achievements are not for the eyes of the uninitiated, the unentitled, those who would not be capable of appreciating the majesty, or the wealth accumulated and skimmed off.  It would seem that some destruction is underestimated or (worse) hidden from sight, but satellite images reveal the scope of the destruction.[1]

The Covetous Acquisition of Oil And Minerals

The process starts with a boreal forest, rain forest, or tropical rainforest.  Stage one is the scraping out of all plant systems and topsoil that obscure the view, blocking the right of way.  More digging reveals what lies beneath, Unobtanium as James Cameron so lamely labeled his holy grail in Avatar.[2]

All of that exposure obscures the obvious: much has been buried in the name of a search for resources.  The term is a general catchall used to label exploitable, marketable goods.  Even the term goods comes into question here.  Would goodies not be more appropriate?  The movement of human populations has been restricted and sometimes those populations living in resource-rich regions have been removed altogether.  Deprived of their culturally historic human right and need to exist there, their plight becomes buried.  When they are unable to adjust to an unchosen life change, whose fault is it?  Cultural genocide has been shown to be a slower, more tortuous form of genocide than the more obvious genocides carried out in open warfare.

When I hear of a great new scientific discovery, I stand back to decide if I will be shuddering in my boots.  I usually become aware of these marvels through news releases.  News is a concept that hints at enlightening, illuminating.  More often than not, it is carrying product placement to primetime under the thin veil of researched reporting.  If a product is directly involved, the name of the parent company surfaces quickly.  Shareholders light up with the glow of well-placed investments.

Currently, the race to find H2O on Earth’s moon has dropped out of the headlines.  Reporting on the ravages of large scale mining projects on earth have also slipped while moves are being made to lasso and to mine asteroids.[3]  Reaching for Mars is also useful distraction to report upon.  To answer CBC’s Science Reporter, Bob McDonald’s question, “What is the most amazing point about the Mars discovery project?”  The cost Bob (and the perceived profit margins that make the venture worth the risk.)[4]

And upon leaving this fragile and seemingly defenseless planet, will those hungry scientific minds be able to stop for drive-through fast food on the way?  Will there be blue moon cheese for snacks, or is that greenbacked paper moon all that will shine for us in that brave new future?

What lies beneath might be obscured from the eyes but memory of its displacement will never be erased.  What is buried, the progress of profit, waits to be exposed annually, under the carefully constructed clauses prepared for the annual report.

Whenever I hear of a new scientific discovery, I tend to hold my breath to know whether we should expect that the natural world will suffer for it.  This time we need to ask some obvious questions.  When it comes to restructuring the very essence of the physical universe, can CEO’s, with their reputations for disappearing with large severance pays in time of crisis, be permitted to make decisions that affect all of us?  Laying aside the bottom line of corporate profit there are more complicated questions to ask when considering what you can make out of this world.  As a launching pad is not the solution for everyone, is now the time when everyone should have a say in re-shaping the wings of chaos?[5]

A paper moon and a cardboard sea; ideas that are out of this world.  This is definitely not rocket science for the imagination in the face of out of bounds science experiments.

Shareholders Report was originally written to accompany 2011 screenings of Paper Moon, Cardboard Sea.  (24es Instants Video at Le 104, Paris, FR; OIL, Emmedia, Calgary, AB, OK.Quoi?!; Contemporary Arts Festival, Sackville, NB.)  The article was finalized and released, October 16, 2012.

PAPER-MOON-remix-Jan-9-2020 from Valerie LeBlanc on Vimeo.

The video Paper Moon can be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/383841885

– Valerie LeBlanc October 16, 2012

[1] Alberta Tar Sands Images. Accessed October 16, 2012.  https://www.google.ca/search?q=alberta%20tar%20sands%20images&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&source=hp&channel=np

Oil Sands. Accessed October 16, 2012.  Last modified October 14, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_sands

[2] Avatar Wiki Unobtainium.  Accessed, October 16, 2012. http://james-camerons-avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Unobtanium

Wikipedia, Unobtainium. Accessed October 16, 2012. Last modified October 13, 2012.

[3] Asteroid Mining, The National, Apr 24, 2012.  Accessed October 16, 2012.

Planetary Resources Inc., Asteroids are the best real estate in the Solar System.  Accessed
October 16, 2012.  http://www.planetaryresources.com/asteroids/

[4] Thurton, David, CBC News.  Mars rover has a considerable Canadian connection, see video Mars triumph or disaster?  Posted Aug 3, 2012.  Last Updated Aug 7, 2012.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2012/08/03/f-mars-rover-canadian-technology.html

[5] Rouse, Margaret.  Chaos Theory.  Accessed October 16, 2012. Last updated March 2009. http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/chaos-theory

Wikipedia.  Chaos Theory. Accessed October 16, 2012. Last modified October 5, 2012.


About Valerie LeBlanc

Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, pluri-­disciplinary artist and writer Valerie LeBlanc has worked in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia. Her creations travel between poetry, performance, visual and written theory. Valerie LeBlanc has been creating video poetry since the mid 1980’s, and is the creator of the MediaPackBoard (MPB), portable screening / performance device.

L’artiste pluridisciplinaire Valerie LeBlanc est vidéaste, poète, performeuse et essayiste. Son travail oscille entre le remarquable et le quotidien. Elle a exposé ses œuvres en Europe, en Australie et au Brésil. Elle crée des vidéopoèmes depuis le milieu des années 1980 et a inventé le MediaPackBoard (MPB), un appareil de projection mobile pour la performance.

Date : April 2020
Genre : Vidéopoésie/Videopoetry

Videopoetry / Vidéopoésie

Small Walker Press

Date : January 2021
Genre : Poetry