Electricity (life) in a cold, man-made cage. This piece seems to continue on from my interest in creating life within machines from earlier this year. It almost resembles a symbolic manifestation of a ‘Computer’
An extract from my Dissertation’s Conclusion, discussing the role of minimalist artwork as a conduit for man’s desire to control and utilise the power of God as a means of transcendence and understanding (Natural phenomena);
‘Subjective art, especially minimalism and its greats and successors, explore the notion of the sublime through the use of minimalist objects and forms. Due to their limited visual feedback, they are often seen as ineffable objects; through their simplicity, they are otherworldly; sublime, through the use of extensionism on part of the artist. The subjective form is a creation of an artist’s consciousness, and it transcends barriers because of its ephemeral, sublime nature. Within the Second Chapter of ‘Sticky Sublime’ (Beckley, B. 2001 – The American Sublime) Emerson and White put forth the concept that America as a nation, is culturally, and historically obsessed with ‘the sublime’. It is no great surprise that some of the most ground breaking and monumental subjective artworks are have been crafted within the bosom of this continent. This powerful human force is responsible for birthing and nurturing both the original, natural sublime, and that of the humans; the technological, chaotic sublime. Humanity is a strange force within the sublime, as not only does it actively seek out the sublime aspects within the world, but is also responsible for the creation of contemporary mutations of the sort. Much like the hand of God, we have created a new form of the Sublime to rival that of God’s Nature; Technology. An intensely immense creation, which we cannot even begin to grasp it’s present state within our mind, let alone what it is rapidly evolving into. Our ‘God-given’ brains are simply not built for such an unfathomable amount of information filtration, and therefore, we both come to fear, and revere, our own ‘Frankenstein’s monster’; a man made, fiercely beautiful being. This unstoppable force, much like within nature, is ‘driven by electricity rather than hydrogen & oxygen in combination…’ and ‘…is sublime in the way that nature used to be: It is ungraspable because of it’s uncontrollable immensity.’ (Beckley, B. 2001, p84) As our evolution pushes closer and closer to the transcendence of our own bodies through the use of robots and A.I., one can instantly foresee that we will one day eventually become Gods ourselves. As soon as we transcend our own biological limitations, we shall become like the creator we so vehemently banished from our society before this.’
My current piece has explored how humanity desires to find purpose through the control, and imitation of, the work of God as a means of heightening understanding of the world surrounding them. Within the piece, I have highlighted death, decomposition and rebirth, through the catalyst of crystallisation. This seeks to highlight the ever-recurrence of life, and how energy passes from one form to another throughout time and space; never dying, but instead transcending into a new manifestation. Much like the ever-evolving concept of technological advancement, man is currently evolving through the use of technology; becoming more and more powerful, until the point where nature will be understood to the point in which nothing will be unknown. At this point, we shall become Gods. Throughout my practice I attempt to explore scientific and philosophical concepts through spiritual or primitive symbolism; as in, inspired by the realms of alchemical thought and more pagan religions such as Voodoo, Druidism, and Hermeticism. The lightning bolt is an act of God, and the spark of life in Mary Shelley’s Novel; it destroys, but then creates life (in the form of fire or an electrical impulse; galvanism). I have effectively symbolised the control exerted over this most traditional form of Godly power and life-giving within a cold, steel cage – a product of man’s ingenuity in control and consumption. A Computer, but also a vessel; a cold body, illuminated and given life by the act of creation from it’s own God. Here, Life has been imbued in a dead form by my own hands. I have become godly, but also symbolised the role of man as God’s Successor. A blessing, and a curse.
In Humanitate sit in Machina – Humanity is in the Machine