On Saturday, we went down to Chatswood for Miss to compete in her dance troupe at the Sydney Eisteddfod. Geoff and I had already seen the dance twice before and I’ve only been down to Sydney once before in the last 12 months due to lockdown and also keeping myself safe. So, we decided to revisit the adjacent Vietnamese restaurant, and on the way, we came across a few art installations, which I’m going to highlight individually. Collectively, these formed Human in the Wire an exhibition “contemplating the technologisation of the human. It explores the notion of how technology is embedded within ‘the human’. It looks at aspects of the body and personal identity and how these aspects may activate technology, be absorbed by it, or subsumed within it. The exhibition seeks to go beyond the singular idea of automated robot, but to look at the various modes of automation, mechanisation and technologisation of the human itself through the use of technology, and asks the question, “how does digital technology change us?””
First up, we have who I’ve dubbed the “Venus de Chatswood. However, her official name is The Watcher by Tristan Chant. The work places historical and contemporary artefacts together. The statue itself is based on the Venus de Milo which was carved from marble by Alexandros, a sculptor about 150 BCE. However, the head is made out of a vintage television and a video of a human eye plays on a LCD monitor. In this way, the artists is apparently encouraging the viewer to think about the convergence of culture and technology, how it is transforming us, and what it means to seed our data in big tech.” I guess the eye represents “Big Brother” watching us. It was macabre, funny and very clever. As you can see, I posed alongside it for a photo, while you can also observe Geoff sitting in the background.
As a photographer, I find this novel use of video and incorporating it into the form of a traditional, famous sculpture fascinating, and felt a whole heap of possibilities open up, even if they were only in my imagination at the point. I have no idea how I could bring something like that to fruition. I’m just a mere mortal.
Have you seen anything like this before? Any thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!