To have the hunter tell it, Africa is full of meek stories about desperation and despair. So when artists like myself offer an alternate vision, often we’re asked to defend our imagination. Why do we feel we have the luxury to create? Shouldn’t we be dealing with more important issues like corruption, or war, or AIDS, or poverty?
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The Center, one of our core goals, our mission statement, is to get people thinking more creatively and ambitiously about the future. What I mean when I talk about that is that we need to come up with better stories about the future. If you want to build a better world you have to imagine that world first.
Today, in this country, we are suffering from a mass contraction of the heart. And I firmly believe that it is artists that can reopen the heart of America. It is our duty and our responsibility to do this. The day after the election I was terrified. I didn’t want to get out of my bed. I sat in my bedroom crying. But I remembered the young women that I had told just the night before that it was going to be okay. So I did the only thing that I could do. I got up and I got to work.
This idea of (re)performing the posthuman was pretty much based on a desire to talk about the cyborg ten years after, or fifteen years, twenty years after the Cyborg Manifesto and Katherine Hayles’ book became famous. And to really—yeah, to talk about maybe the normal cyborg, the normal technologized body. You know, technology in the everyday and its implications for the way we perceive and experience our bodies.
AR mixed reality has more potential, I think. With virtual reality, you’re just somewhere else altogether, right? And VR is all the rage right now. But in terms of disseminating information, in terms of keeping us in touch still with physical, you know. I mean, it’s all real life now. I don’t even distinguish IRL/URL now. I mean it’s all real life. But like, how do we maintain a foot in both simultaneously? Both the virtual and the physical.
So then I thought right, what happens with an artist who draws the body, who deals with the body all the time? I know, they have affairs with the life model, don’t they? They have their muse. So I thought right, let’s take this, let’s look at technology, let’s have an affair with this tech. Let’s try and put the sex into it. Let’s sex up the technology.
Let’s ask a very simple question. Why are there so many art projects today? Because we live in the world of mass art production. Basically everyone is an artist nowadays. Or at least he or she has an artistic project. We can speak of a surge in the creation of art. The production of art is proliferating.
For any artists that are working in this field now, if I was good at painting I’d probably be looking at how to find styles that work well with these kind of representations and make them easily automatable or transferable so that if I had fans as an artist they could say, “Hey, I would like to have a picture of my cat painted.”