My practice encompasses a wide exploration into the ever-evolving relationship between humans and technology. The notions in my work are largely underpinned through themes of dystopia that relate to current issues in contemporary society surrounding information privacy, social interaction and digital archiving. As the proliferation of technology has an increasingly profound impact on our empirical experience of the physical world, layers of digital realities pass through the screen and begin to inhabit the material realm through the haptic relationship between electronic interfaces and our bodies. It is this relationship between our physicality as humans, and progressive connection to the non-physical realities that inspires my speculation into this area of research.
Often, the form in which my work attempts to communicate or cogitate over this is through a combination of film, sculpture, sound and installation. Having developed an artistic practice from the foundations of a musical one, sound has always been somewhat central to my practice, often becoming the primary element of any work, regardless of other media used. My work usually goes through multiple processes, in and out of a material and digital state until a point is reached that best informs the viewer of my intentions. Lately, this has been in the form of film and sound, evident in the works of Aeons, 2019 and Desktop, 2018. I feel that the use of electronic screens and surround sound systems reflect the information platforms in which our current society is so heavily reliant on.
When producing sound, it is led by an amalgamation of manipulated and distorted sounds which are layered until a point at which they begin to resonate with their visual counterpart. Recording and archiving aural and visual data through field sampling is key to this process as it informs from what point I begin to formulate the sound. For example, in a recent piece entitled Desktop, examining the haptic significance in relation to the digital archive overtaking its material original, an archival collection of exotic butterflies is scored by a subtle soundtrack of digital sounds which reference specific technologies. These sounds have been sampled from Apple iPhone notification tones, which are the all too familiar triggers that have been embedded in the minds of iPhone users. This coupling therefore initiates the shift between the planes in which both archives exist.
I have found that the works of both Elizabeth Price and Haroon Mirza, whose attention to sound in relation to perceptual experience has led me to experiment with site-specific sound and how it operates in conversation with visual forms, both as a cinematic aid and as a kind of structural support for moving image. Their practices involve learning and experimenting with new technologies which has inspired me to do so in my own work. For example, of late I have been utilising various animation and 3D sculpting software to reform the physicality of data servers in order to remove them from context and instead place them into speculative narratives. A recent piece in this series called Agora: Data Server, 2019 explores the change in physical space in which this human interaction occurs. By referencing the ancient Greek ‘agora’, the public space used for assemblies and markets, it attempts to shift this acknowledgement back, perhaps in order to come to some sense of comprehension, but also to state quite evidently how drastically this space has changed.
John Gerrard’s use of gaming engines to produce animated post-human landscapes has influenced this series heavily, grounding it in a canon of work which attempts to subvert the traditional uses of software in order to create an alternative narrative in which our relationship to it becomes active as opposed to passive. With this subversion a small gap may appear in which the rift between human intimacy and technological imitations of it become more obvious and therefore easier to bridge.