Hello Posthumanity? Oil on linen 70 x 100 cm 2016
Hello Posthumanity? relates to some works on paper I did last year and earlier this year [see below]. In these paintings I used binary code, the tree-of-life and words, painted in cosmic environments, to grapple with the meaning of 'posthuman'. I have, however, bypassed the idea that it means a kind of re-calibration of human identity as a result of technology. Rather, I plummet straight into it being a state or place that exists after the annihilation of the human species...possibly due to emerging technologies. Here, the 'post' in posthuman literally means after-human-species-existence. Yes, somewhat different to a re-calibration.
WHAT DOES POSTHUMAN LOOK LIKE?
So, what would this posthuman world look like? Would there ever be a chance of human revival, resurrection? Does God have a say? If we exist in a multiverse, would humans survive in other universes, if they exist there at all? Or, is the multiverse a parallel system, so that when something is extinct in one universe, it is also extinct in another universe? Even if humans were annihilated by misuse of technology, deliberate mal-use, accident or by machine design, would the ultimate demise of the Sun and the resultant destruction of the solar system, return us to the stars? Would this be a posthuman existence that is still 'human'? Would a posthuman world be one where humanity's digital residue remained long after mortal extinction? Would a posthuman world be one where artificial intelligence reigned...an AI that surpassed human intelligence in ways that were so far in advance that any connection to human intelligence was lost?
Regular readers will know that much of my most recent work is involved with landscape, weaponised airborne drones, cosmic perspectives and the figure of the tree-of-life representing LIFE threatened by accelerating developments in militarised technology. Yes, there is an undercurrent that connects these works with my interest in the posthuman.
Hello Posthumanity? combines the tree-of-life, with binary code 'instructing' various words that I have also painted. The portal from which ribbons of colour emanate could indicate journeys into and from another universe? Maybe the trees-of-life are bits of 'human' star dust scattered across space? Maybe the binary code indicates digital residue? And, what about God? Well...your guess is as good as mine!
I cannot help myself...but...this painting positions hope as a strong force. Hope is there - in the trees-of-life, in the the portal where the distances of time and space are retained, in the ribbons of colour indicating vibrancy...and...in the number of question marks, both '?' and '00111111'.
Picturing the Posthuman gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2015
I Am Am I? Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2015
Imagining the Posthuman Gouache on paper 42 x 30 cm 2016
Vascular System for Posthumans Gouache on paper 42 x 30 cm 2016