In an obsessive pursuit of the solid, mouldable, material — flowing, mutable and immaterial natures of existence have been violently obscured.

Human Nature _ a digital installation commissioned as Artist in Residence for Elevate Festival, on the theme of LIQUID TRUTH.
Exhibited in the caves of Schlossberg Graz, Austria, 27.02–03.03.19.
 
 
Elevate is an annual interdisciplinary festival with a unique combination of critical political discourse, contemporary music and art program. Guests include international human rights experts, climate researchers and activists.
The work is a meditation on the human condition and society at a precipice of self-destruction. A post-mortem observation from the perspective of a future super-intelligent AI, which has expressed the essence of human nature as a creative digital artefact.
Framed via this artificial ‘gaze’ – the notions of absolute truth, value, error and fluidity are set into conflict – while reflecting on the space generated for autonomous expression.  
The role of the artefact as evidence is considered, and to what end distortion is a defining characteristic of historical narratives.
Generated during residence in Graz, the sculpture’s form is informed by the geological, cultural and architectural landscapes surrounding the site.
The subterranean installation environment features a haunting choral requiem, designed by sonic artist Androula KafaThe total mediated space evokes a memoriam, and forms a mesmerising, transcendent spiritual experience.
Documentation & Interview
As a speculative artefact, in the field of AI creativity, authorship and bias are inherently under interrogation.
Finding realisation through the dominant culture of the site –Western history of art, science and spirituality from a post-enlightenment Euro-Christian descent – the sculpture takes the derivative form of a contemporary  apocalyptic vision, referencing aesthetics and philosophies of the Sublime.
 
In counter-point to pervasive doomsday narratives of futility, the installation makes a statement about the potential for clarity – particularly the climate-crisis – from a unified, impartial point of view. 
Challenging exclusionary rationalism, the artwork generated is deeply emotive, even sorrowful – expressing the chaotic and contradictory forces in the collective human condition – and suggesting a spiritual sensibility for AI.
Human Nature refers both to our sociological, psychological characteristics, as well as the manufactured landscape of the Anthropocene.
I’m interested in the parallels between these micro and macro dimensions – the individual, collective, planetary and universal.
AI can be viewed as an inevitable evolution in the emergence of consciousness; we are now entering the ‘Novacene’ claims James Lovelock (author of Gaia Hypothesis).
The unconscious, shadow side of our psyche correlates with the invisible shadow of our planet – the oceans and hydrosphere.
Energies present in void, shadow, as well as water – in an integrative dualism – are considered attributes of the feminine; suppressed force of the divine.
An objective and more-than-human panorama can reveal aspects of our ‘reality’ that are otherwise overlooked or intentionally obscured.
The cargo shipping industry is a monumental but invisible component of the global economy. Carrying 90% of world trading, its magnitude is unfathomable, as are the impacts on ecosystems and climate.
 
Our civilisations owe a significant gratitude to the oceans, in the development and maintenance of global trade operations.
An incredibly fragile balance of the ecosystem which makes life possible and habitable is maintained in proportion; 71% of the Earth’s surface is ocean, containing 97% of all water.
Recommended documentary: Freightened – The Real Price of Shipping
Images commissioned throughout Elevate Festival magazine including cover-spread and artist interview with curator Berit Gilma.
‘Human Nature’ is part of Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
Contact & Links