Sunday, October 25, 2015


Beyond Mortality Mixed Media on Paper 30 x 42 cm 2015
I know the title Beyond Mortality sounds serious and huge...and it is both of these! And, where did the idea come from you might ask?
It has come directly from thinking about my own reactions to my university research. I am delving into some pretty hefty topics, that certainly do make me wonder. One of these topics is existential risk posed by emerging technologies...the kind of risk that could cause humanity's annihilation. An associated topic is artificial intelligence and potential threats posed by self-learning entities, seen and unseen. All of this spills over into topics such as transhumanism, singularity and posthuman futures. There's an Australian transhumanism site that you might like to look at HERE. As with most things, there's both positive and negative possibilities associated with many of these topics.
You can see where the Beyond Mortality title has come from! Yes, thinking about the future, the role of technological 'enhancements' of the human and what 'existence' might mean. The obvious thought that comes to mind is that 'beyond mortality' means immortality. I suspect it might be, strangely, much more complicated than that...
In Beyond Mortality I have taken the Christian idea of ascension, coupled it with binary code, and cosmological time and space.  But, the idea of ascension is not only a Christian one. It is shared by a many religions and spiritual beliefs, including Judaism and Islam. My painting also plays with ideas of resurrection, which is what the binary code is 'instructing'. By combining ascension and resurrection with technology's 'promise' of transhuman and/or posthuman futures I'm playing with questions about existence, re-existence [even de-extinction] and mortality. Needless to say there's no resolution or even a stationary viewpoint, but rather, a intellectual and imaginational 
discursiveness that has stimulated my visual 'play'.
And, for regular readers...yes...Beyond Mortality is also one of my untethered landscapes. Even the mountain is unleashed from wherever it came from, Galgotha, Calvary or even 'Metaphor'! Yet, the ribbon of colourful binary code creates a landscape-like contour in space, maybe suggestive of new types of scapes where downloaded consciousness-es might 'exist'? The ribbon also seems like it's giving directions, making a pathway...

I wonder if once we are on the path...are there places to get off, make detours, see other directions?
On that kind of sobering note....

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