Dan Mills, US Future States Atlas

US Future States Atlas, US Empire
US Future States, global view

Mills, Dan (Daniel T.), and Phong Bui. US Future States Atlas: An Atlas of Global Imperialism. Santa Monica, CA: Perceval Press, 2009.

Daniel Mills’s US Future States Atlas, like Enrique Chagoya’s Road Map, provides an exploration and interrogation of American imperialism. Mills writes, “[T]he atlas was started in response to the then U.S. leaders’ increasingly aggressive interactions with many countries—there were indications that the U.S. government would go to war, invade, or threaten other nations for a variety of reasons such as wanting their resources, not liking their leader, thinking they had weapons of mass destruction.”

Mills views his project as extending the US’s imperialistic logic to its reaches. The complete Atlas includes in-depth examinations of each potential future state, focusing on an explanation of the US’s “Motive/Rationale for Takeover & Future Statehood” and “Benefits to Us.” Here, you see three different map designs depicting the Earth with numbered with sites of potential alliance or takeover, depending on Mills’s analysis.

Mills’s collaborator, Phong Bui, writes “[U]ltimately, what holds our interest in Mills’s work is the tension between what is read and what is seen. It’s no longer imagined. It’s made.” Bui suggests that in remaking the maps, Mills births a new reality. Maps, the union of both art and science, push us to reconsider our sources of information and knowledge. Do these sources “report” on reality, or do they actually “make” reality?

Written by Katrina van Dyke with assistance from Kristin Eshelman

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