As we can see in Sightline (Cityscape with Red Cross) the crosshairs (or “target”) in the piece sit directly over a compact city block with large open spaces on either side, conveying the environment of a city on the prairies.
The crosshairs are a way of locating something, of targeting, of pointing to a goal or an objective. Usually, this is to cause damage; it comes from archery and rifling and was used to indicate where an arrow or bullet would fly. More recently it has come to be used for photography; the crosshairs in the camera indicates something that is worth taking a picture of, and therefore something that should be paid attention to.
The practice of hunting is similar to the practice of photography. We refer to both hunting and photography in similar ways: in photography, we refer to recording an image as “capturing” or “shooting,” and another term for a gun’s crosshairs is its “sight.” Both are about targeting, locating, and choosing a moment.
In this work, Koop has chosen to locate the crosshairs on the center of the piece, over the city part of the image. We can then assume that Koop is trying to indicate that this urban space sandwiched between the natural environment should be given importance and attention. On the other hand, the crosshairs in this piece appear more like that of a gun (she calls it a “target” rather than using the language of photography by calling it a “viewfinder” or “rangefinder”). This might indicate that Koop is suggesting taking aim at urbanization. She seems to pinpoint how our experience of Canadian landscapes often happens between the actual natural location itself, and a form of technology such as a camera or a gun’s sight.