Introduction and Research:
This project develops from my practice in Semester One, which centralised around obsolete technologies and the oversaturation of technology production during the global waste crisis. My practice plans to take the overwhelming dread I feel towards the world and explore my emotions and philosophy through a digital lens and post-humanism, as I begin to speculate if we must evolve beyond being human to survive. In our current socio-political climate, I have become concerned for mortality and our collective insignificance, leading me to question when will humans become obsolete and what would it mean for our existence if we elongated that existence through the cyborg. (Haraway, 1985).
In metaphysical pessimism, this is the worst possible world as we now live in the simulacrum of life, the internet (Thacker, 2015. Nietzsche, 1967, Baudrillard, 1981). Is this giving up or is it a realist approach? We are the same as dinosaurs, there is the world we live on as a society and then the Earth as a planet, which will continue to exist without us (Thacker, 2011, Dekeyser, 2020). How we continue to exist, through post-humanism or not at all, cannot be known; only speculated. I will explore what ecology and an art practice means in the Anthropocene and Post-Humanism during our current digital-centric era (Ferrando, 2017. Haraway, 2003-4).
I conducted a questionnaire as research into pessimism superseding generational lines as I only understand my own perspective (Öğüt, 2019), I wanted to understand if there was a correlation between pessimism increasing in younger generations. From the 45 participants, it is clear to me that pessimism for the future is in the majority – regardless of age.
All these filmmakers use constructed narratives, atmospheric sound, voice-over protagonist and construction of anxiety-inducing atmospheres. All elements contribute to an engaging and experimental approaches to film, which will inspire my practice, process, and focus.
All these painters’ appropriate images in their modern practice. Through a variety of methods, these artists inspire me as they construct fragmented realities in their work from a plethora of resources and materials.
“Are Humans Evil?” (2021)
Collage: Paper, acrylic paint, acrylic and biro pens, silver solvent paint, ink, Black 3.0, PVA Glue on Cartridge Paper
A3: 29.7 cm x 42 cm
“Untitled” (Post-Human Cat collaboration) (2021)
Food colouring in water, acrylic paint on paper roll
176 cm x 18 cm
“Put Number One First” (2021)
Collage: Glossy Magazine paper, acrylic, acrylic pens, Black 3.0, PVA Glue on Cartridge Paper
A3: 29.7 cm x 42 cm
“You and I Are Not From The Same Planet” (2021)
Response to Taipei Biennial 2020/E-Flux Article of the same name
Photography; Digital Series of 4
“Things Cannot Be Unseen”
“We’re All Specks of Dust”
A4: 21 cm x 29.7 cm
Acrylic on 150 GSM Cartridge Paper
297 x 420 mm
Gelli Print and Graphite responses to abstract face shapes created in the print
Acrylic and Graphite on 150 GSM Cartridge Paper
297 x 420 mm (print), 210 x 297 mm (drawings)
I aim to create from a plethora of images and resources, to formulate a new constructed meaning; the images are recontextualised and appropriated in a fragmented, stabilised reality, parallel to the internet, where images are uploaded, downloaded, and appropriated until a new meaning forms.
My experimentation with projection photography and posters is interesting but due to low camera quality, I find them unsuccessful, and I was uninspired by these concepts. I opted for the post-human collaboration with my cats to question how art can be created with non-humans. There are countless possibilities to create art with animals, however there is an importance of experimentation with ecology in my practice, relating to surfaces and surroundings. This collaboration explores the ecology of animals and the post-human, as it demonstrates how animals and humans can unite and interact artistically and record this interaction.
I find the collages and the post-human collaboration best reflect my methodology, research and experimentation through making is creatively stimulating, inspiring me to continue to create with new approaches and develop the connection and contrast between still and moving images. The gelli prints are a successful and interesting image translation, abstracting the human form but should be applied to another work or collage, rather than on their own.
Word Count: 529 (Excluding captions and titles)
Elizabeth Price – The Woolsworth Choir of 1979 (2012)
Sophia Al Maria – The Future Was a Desert Part II (2016)
Nam June Paik – Nixon (1965-2002)
Steina Vasulka – Orbital Obsessions (1977)
Tai Shani – Dark Continent: The Vampyre (2016)
Emily Sparkes – I Run To You (2019)
Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol – Paramount (1984-5)
Njideka Akunyili Crosby – Dwell: Aso Ebi (2017)
Avery Singer – Untitled (2019)
Post-Humanism – A concept around the state of existing beyond human (E.g. animals, monsters, cyborgs, androids/robots, etc.)
Pessimism – A belief or point of view which believes existence is defined by a combination of negative experiences.
Metaphysical Pessimism – A belief that sees the world as evil and it would be better to not exist at all (E.g. “This is the worst possible world”)
Simulacrum – A simulation or representation of something. In some cases, an unsatisfactory reproduction.
Post-Dualism – Meaning ‘after dualism’; a belief to move society beyond the choice of two and conflict (Good vs. Evil, Political Party vs. Political Party, Celebrity vs. Celebrity)
Nihilism – The belief that life is meaningless and all beliefs are baseless. There is nothing.
Peck, R. (2016). I Am Not Your Negro. Magnolia Pictures; United States.
Thacker, E. (2015), Cosmic Pessimism, 1st ed. University of Minnesota Press, USA: Minnesota.
Thacker, E. (2011), In The Dust Of This Planet, 2nd Ed. Zero Books, UK: Winchester.
Dekeyser, T. (2020), “Pessimism, Futility and Extinction: An Interview with Eugene Thacker“, Theory, Culture & Society, SAGE Journals, University of London, March 17 2020, Vol. 37(7–8) 367–381
Nietzsche, F. (1967), The Will to Power, Vintage Books ed. Vintage Books, Random House Inc, USA: New York.
Dr. Ferrando (2017), “What Does POSTHUMAN mean? – Dr. Ferrando (NYU)”, Online Course; New York University, December 7 2017, Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zi6APy0oW9A http://www.theposthuman.org [Accessed: 18/02/2021]
Guinard, M. Latour, B. Lin, P. and e-flux journal editors (2020), “Editorial: You and I Don’t Live on the Same Planet”, E-Flux Journal [Online], Available at: https://www.e-flux.com/journal/114/367057/editorial-you-and-i-don-t-live-on-the-same-planet/ [Accessed: 15/02/2021]
Öğüt, A. (2019), “From Self-Design to Algorithmic-Design”, E-Flux Journal [Online], Available at: https://www.e-flux.com/journal/98/256669/from-self-design-to-algorithmic-design/ [Accessed at: 15/02/2021]
Baudrillard, J. (1994), “Simulacra and Simulation”, 2nd Ed. English Translation: The University of Michigan; USA.
Haraway, D. (2003-4), “From Cyborgs to Companion Species”, Lecture: UC Berkley, Townsend Centre, Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9gis7-Jads&t=527s [Accessed: 22/03/2021]
Haraway, D. (1985), “A Cyborg Manifesto”, Essay; The Socialist Review, UK.
Survey Research Ethics Form:
Cat Collaboration Ethics Form:
Questionnaire questions and replies:
Further research information: My Practice Padlet