Further West

“They will gaze up and strain to find the blue dot in their skies. They will love it no less for its obscurity and fragility. They will marvel at how vulnerable the repository of all our potential once was, how perilous our infancy, how humble our beginnings, how many rivers we had to cross before we found our way.” -Carl Sagan

Reframing the idea of imperialism in American history, Further West explores a revisionist’s vision of manifest destiny. Refugees and pioneers on the brink of the unknown step onto foreign soil, engulfed by the sprawl of the landscape before them they begin to shape the world. The known and unknown collide, as natural and constructed spaces become augmented, and mid-century Americana culture adapts, shifts, and changes it’s trajectory toward a new and uncertain future.

As a child of the 80’s, Star Wars was inevitable a huge influences on me. George Lucas showed me an incredible universe, just past the clouds, that held untold adventures, strange monsters, and extraordinary alien worlds. It gave me hope and belief in the magic that surrounds us, and inspired me to uncover the mysteries, large and small in this world. It taught me that imagination was something to be followed. Picking up a camera as an adult, I wanted to rekindle some of that magic and mystery of my youth.

In creating these images, I used a Canon 5DMK3, Lightroom, Photoshop, paint, glue, knives, files and sandpaper. Using model making, portraiture, and landscape photography, these images become a collage of real and imagined possibilities, posing questions about who we are and how we coexist in this world.

People responded well to the project and the opening in Portland, Oregon, and were engaged with the cinematic and aesthetic qualities of the show. From working on this project, I learned that I really enjoy the process as a whole and I would like to explore a similar aesthetic and idea in the form of film.

You can follow my work on instagram at https://www.instagram.com/neonwerewolf

Mako Miyamoto

Mako Miyamoto is a photographer and Creative Director at Roundhouse Agency, currently residing in the Portland, Oregon.