Zane Mellupe and Christophe Demaître in their artworks explore the limits of image and materiality. Lost in a flux of information and ever-increasing urbanization, a human being, sentient yet fragile, acquire super-human and un-human qualities alike. Storing our evermore sensitive data on digital cloud, and implanting microchips in our body to be more efficient when interacting with technology – are two moves toward the same end.
Series of works in Distortionography by Zane Mellupe deal with images distorted beyond recognition. The glitch effect rests on the original image, amending it to fit the aim of the artist. This process is similar to the one in the digital world, where people fabricate their personas in social media to display certain qualities and hide others. Instead of being freed from the corporal self, in the digital milieu a person encounters an added burden – to build her digital persona, to position it wisely, to defend it from personal attacks and corporate encroachments.
In Christophe Demaître’s art, a blurred, fragmented or transformed human figure acts on the background of an urban, desolate and constructivist scenery, claiming to keep his dignity and agency. Self-annihilation can be seen as an adaptation, a mimicking of a stronger force of progress, which commands vast amount of soil moved, buildings and roads constructed, communication lines installed, screens and CCTV cameras monitoring and broadcasting 24/7.
This exhibition is a part of explorative series of a contemporary human situation. The new data regulation of EU is just a forerunner of a profound change facing humankind, as digital becomes an integral part of our personas, we possessing different virtual personas, accounts, and engaging in communication with AI, not knowing anymore where runs the line between the human and the machine.
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