project image
Ellen Mueller

first performed on April 22, 2012
a hillside at the Nature & Raptor Center of Pueblo, CO
screened six additional times in 2012


Michelle Hernandez, Irene Franek, Aziza Simmons, Jessica Trujillo, Juan Morales

Buckhannon, WV


“Manifest Destiny III” is part of series of satirical performances inspired by the western landscape, historical westward expansion and human infringement on natural resources.

This investigation, comprised of layers of meaning, examines honesty, or a lack thereof, in a chaotic world of impending climate change and hyperactive news media. This body of work looks at the darker side of the human condition, while searching for truth that stems from human resistance to change, and efforts towards controlling one’s destiny. I invite the viewer to contemplate what it means to be a human alive with others in light of public domain and private property.

I juxtaposed video of myself in a cheerleading uniform, pushing a ladder up a hill, with choreographed cheers made from overtly patriotic quotes in the U.S. passport. These absurd actions mirror the absurdity of extracting increasingly inefficient fossil fuels from the earth via hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and refining tar sands.

The performance critiques a variety of different political groups that present overly-simplistic and polarizing understandings of issues related to American expansion.