The Hebrew Bible includes a story in which a great leader is criticized for demanding physical evidence of God’s presence, suggesting a weakness of faith. A New Testament writer describes faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Over the years, the idea that incontrovertible proof isn’t really the point of faith has had some trouble sinking in. Nowhere is this more evident than in the persistent efforts by some believers to prove the accuracy of detailed scriptural accounts via archeological or geological evidence. Even the attempts that aren’t outright hoaxes are often pretty unpersuasive—requiring great leaps of faith.
A recent photo project by the Glue Society, a New York- and Sydney-based creative collective, brings this phenomenon to mind. The piece features satellite images combined with digital graphics, resulting in what appears to be photographic evidence of the garden of Eden, the great flood, and the parting of the Red Sea (seen above). The project takes a playful approach to imagery loaded with religious significance, raising good questions about representation, documentary evidence, and belief.
The images are available at the Glue Society’s website, by clicking “The Work,” “New,” and then “Miami Art Fair.”