Matthew Buckingham’s two works consider the North American political imaginary in relation to power, colonization, sovereignty, climate change and control of natural resources.
Northwest Passage (2002) juxtaposes an image of a military submarine passing the Statue of Liberty to a text by Buckingham about Henry Hudson, who in 1609 was commissioned by the Dutch East India Company to search for a route between Europe and Asia. In turn, this trade-focused quest for a “Northwest Passage” prompted European colonization of North America. The text further notes that global warming may soon open this passage to shipping and that North American financial partners are currently investing in this outcome. Given that the passage was first navigated by a military submarine in 1958, Buckingham links the military industrial complex to the interests of capital.