Monday, June 12, 2006

Organic Flesh Machine – Series Commentary

Organic Flesh Machine – Series Commentary

This series explores parallels between body and machine.In this world veins equals wires, electrical current equals blood and rust equals age.

Like my earlier Corpus Veneer paintings these sculptures engage with ideas about body, mortality and the passage of time.

On another level this series explores ideas about human and technological convergence. The devices that surround us are now part our nervous systems and as a result are extending and distorting our capabilities and perception.Our relationship with technology is symbiotic, but is this inter-dependence a parasitic one, and if so which is side the parasite? Removal or loss of certain devices or technological facilities can in some individuals induce states panic confusion and anxiety, is this loss akin to the surgically removal of nervous system capability?

These sculptural paintings are strongly influenced by the “Body Horror” of artists such as Clive Barker and the ideas David Cronenburg. My work also takes inspiration from cyberpunk authors such as William Gibson and directors such as Masamune Shirow for their depictions of technological bodily enhancement

The process of creating these works is in itself surgical. In order to embed the components and other objects into the canvas I use a scalpel blade. The act of cutting the "flesh" of the canvas induces a strange mixture of feelings, liberation, perversity, guilt and power. In cutting the canvas and implanting the objects into the surface I am taking it to another level giving it a third dimension and a new life. Subsequent work on the canvas involves mending the torn "flesh" of the canvas. At times this reconstruction is akin to a process of healing.

In the final sculpture the surgical combination of machine and flesh are realised. Is this a visage of surgical enhancement, medical necessity or sadistic torture?

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