Avatars, filters and digital identities: Nick Bostrom, director and founder of the Future of Humanity Institute in Oxford, defines a “post-human” as a “being that has at least one post-human capacity. By a post-human capacity, I mean a general central capacity greatly exceeding the maximum attainable by any current human being without recourse to new technological means. ”
Vu tray – Anthromorph
- 1 Vu tray – Anthromorph
- 2 Matthew Stone – Interdependent Vantage Point
- 3 Austin Smith – Technologic
- 4 Yonca Karakas – 964 + 19
- 5 Andrew Thomas Huang – Björk Avatar Artwork
- 6 Jason Ebeyer – Blue Boy Blue
- 7 Chad Knight – Queen Beast
- 8 Cho Gi Seok – Humanoid
- 9 Salvia & Genesis – Searching for the Truth Via Heavy Metal Pain
“I think to be human and to be an artist is to be a mirror of the environment we live in. We’ve reached a tipping point of human existence that is long overdue. The future of the planet is very uncertain, biology no longer serves a purpose in our identity framework, and art and the way we consume it is undergoing drastic changes in format. It has never been scarier or more exciting to be human. Or an artist for that matter. ” (IG: @vassovu. Shot by Vasso Vu)
Matthew Stone – Interdependent Vantage Point
“I am using technology to explore whether it is possible to still find the humanity within these digital worlds that we all increasingly inhabit. I am not a techno futurist, if anything I am an archaic revivalist: I recognize how much technology has become our reality: there just isn’t a separation. In many different eras, art distorted the body to expand emotional states of being, so I wanted to try to leverage that in a way that didn’t feel nostalgic. ” (IG: @matthewstoneart)
In a post-ideological age, it seems that the question of identity is the only remaining collective theatre where the shared hopes and anxieties of Western society can be staged, becoming the prism through which contemporaneity is analyzed, understood and invented. Male and female, along with every other category that might once have seemed unshakable, have suddenly become obsolete and reductive concepts that are leaving space for unprecedented fluidity.
Austin Smith – Technologic
“My work has always been about the augmentation of the body somewhat. It’s interesting to morph yourself into something so different it isn’t even you any- more, and it just exists as its own entity. It really helps me disconnect from myself and ego for a while and let something else take over me entirely. Seeing yourself as an almost unrecognizable version really does take away all of the context of your identity and creates a blank slate void of our earthly standards. ” (IG: @ empty.pools)
Yonca Karakas – 964 + 19
“I sometimes ask myself whether my art is an interpretation of the stereotyped modern identity perception: the characters I have created are intensely homogenized, with similar sterile facial features and structures. White skins, flawless skin and shiny hair. Our desire to be approved is so dominant in this epoch that we overuse photography and its excellent filters to show a much better version of our selves. We all want to be approved. ” (IG: @yoncakarakas)
It’s therefore inevitable that this porosity in all boundaries equally applies to the definition of humanity. If post-humanism has been a playground for academics, techno-utopians and sci-fi enthusiasts for years, we have reached a point in the history of humankind where this term is losing all its vagueness and materialising in an increasingly real – and impending – Possibility.
Andrew Thomas Huang – Björk Avatar Artwork
“As I come from a background in puppetry, I am accustomed to the idea of inhabiting proxies or avatars. And in this age in which the boundary between virtual and real identities has collapsed, those of us who are queer or people of color of- ten feel more comfortable inhabiting this hybrid space in which we can construct our identities beyond human in the digital realm. I consider this opportunity for identity expansion a form of digital drag, really. ” (IG: @andrewthomashuang. Ribbon mask designed by James Merry)
Jason Ebeyer – Blue Boy Blue
“When thinking about how art has changed and evolved within a post-human era, I always can’t help but try to draw influence and inspiration from the idea of emotion. I try to convey it through my digital characters to make the work feel more human and less cold, even if my characters aren’t human – or at least aren’t humans as we know and understand. They’re a more evolved being, perhaps a distant step of where people could be in the future. ” (IG: @jasonebeyer)
In this age that Roberto Calasso defined as the “unnamable present” – whose only distinguishing feature seems to be its radically elusive character – genetics and biotechnology may soon be able to take human nature to its extreme, altering it to the point of potentially spawning something completely different and undefinable by today’s standards. But this approaching horizon is already a reality for a whole series of contemporary artists – at least in their images.
Chad Knight – Queen Beast
“The 3D medium is so immersive and limitless: you are not bound by the laws of physics, you can be like a magician. In my art, I’m trying to capture in a physical form our universal feelings of compassion and motivation. I want people looking at my work to realize that they are powerful and capable of everything, regardless of what they look like or what other people classify them as. ” (IG: @chadknight. Courtesy of The Art Plug Agency)
Cho Gi Seok – Humanoid
“I was born in 1992 and I am based in Seoul, Korea. I like the coexistence of disparate things: that’s what I try to express in my work. Coexistence is one of the most difficult things these days, mainly of people but also of the contradiction of digital, artificial and natural worlds. In my art I put together things that don’t seem to get along well, but surprisingly they do. I think this perfectly reflects my generation and the people that surround me. ” (IG: @chogiseok)
Whether it’s a utopian or dystopian universe, 3D modeling or silicone implants, whether they use analogue or digital techniques, a new iconography of the idea of being human is taking shape. In that outlook, which is not entirely decipherable, even concepts like gender, man and woman seem to have lost their relevance. And these artists, with their humanoid creations, are among the pioneers exploring and expanding the boundaries of this idiom.
Salvia & Genesis – Searching for the Truth Via Heavy Metal Pain
“A big part of the core of my work and life has always been to reject binaries and limitations: male / female, human / non-human, physical / digital. We are not in an ‘era’ of fluidity – fluidity has always existed. In the big scheme of life on Earth I would actually say we are currently in an era of binaries and limitations, binaries and limitations that we are now slowly starting to break away from. ” (IG: @salvjiia, @genesisfawn)