Friday, November 18, 2016


HumanMachineHuman Gouache and water colour on paper 57 x 75.6 cm 2016


I am really interested in the intersection between humanity and technology. It's an intersection which is increasingly blurred.

I am particularly interested in human/technology relationships and developments in militarised technology, where guiding principles are focused on developing and maintaining supreme advantage over enemy forces. Modern soldiers are equipped with various devices that connect to other remote devices. These devices detect external events and environmental conditions, as well as monitor soldiers' physical well being. Soldiers are walking, talking, breathing nodes of information and detection. Technical apparatus to enable a soldier to survive extreme conditions and situations, without losing tactical advantage continue to be developed, using a plethora of modern technologies. Robot soldiers that can carry great weights or can be deployed in precarious situations have been developed eg: DARPA's Legged Squad Support System.  The remote drone pilot, in a sense, has an external appendage that responds to his/her movements and instructions. If you'd like to read more about military developments in these areas visit various defence force science and research agencies. You can do the research! There's plenty of information out there. It's both fascinating and scary. 


So, HumanMachineHuman does not depict a morphed transhuman soldier...for me this would be too illustrative and therefore, restricted. Rather, I prefer a play with symbols. I have painted a tree-of-life with cascading branches that morph into three weaponsied drones, as if they are extensions of humanity/life. The drones' scoping systems provide a new type of branching appearance...not quite as complex as that of the tree-of-life though - for now!

Two smaller trees-of-life, positioned at the bottom left of the painting, are slightly beyond the drones' scopes. Is 'capture' immanent? Maybe - maybe not? I'd suggest the white root-like system, that mirrors the red tree, offers some hope of escape. Maybe the small red tree has camouflaged itself to avoid detection? Maybe its colour - red - indicates that it has its own counter-surveillance systems? Maybe it acts as a jamming system, thwarting the drones' collaborative success? The white root-like upside down tree is like a lighthouse shedding light into the dark. Maybe it is seeking a new way, a new universe even? The collaboration between the small red and white trees is significant!

You, the viewer - are you in front of a landscape or are you below the drones looking up, or are you above the drones looking down? Whatever your perspective, it might be a good idea to pay attention! 

This painting is another of my cosmic landscapes, another 'dronescape' or possibly a droned 'skyscape', or a droned 'aerialscape'? It could also be a droned 'dreamscape'? Yes, I do have some fun thinking about these sorts of things.


No comments: