possibilities of human intervention

In a process spanning several weeks/months I am exploring the relationships between machine and body. This work is a continuation of my ongoing exploration of societal efficiency and redundancy, specifically in questioning the use of technology and our obsession with data. I am hyper-aware of the volume of practices that engage this subject, yet feel compelled to honestly explore it as it continuously impacts on my social wellbeing, stress levels and overall life in a “modern” world. I have spent the majority of my life working daily with machines, specifically computer interfaces for design and administration. My relationship to technology and the previous projects I have conducted have compiled dramatically over time, leading to this moment in which a reckoning must take place in my life. Do I continue on this pathway of technological assimilation or do I fight against societal norms and go off the grid? This is a huge question that I am struggling with in my work and social life as the love-hate relationship I have with the digital world is all encompassing.

early statement: My relationship with machines remains complicated as my arts practice spans both digital and analog technologies over the past 20 years. Many devices are invented to make life easier and replace human effort, yet these devices bring additional actions, requirements and life constraints with their implied convenience. As we continuously increase technological reliance, we add more emphasis on technological action-based behaviours adapting them into the social constructs of everyday life. This, combined with ever increasing corporate data hoarding, file obsession, and mass consumption forces me to question societal intentions as well as my own proximity and relevance to the world we live within.

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I am proposing a process that is both research-based and practice-based; my research actions are compartmentalized into individual explorations, each viewable as individual works, yet my process also often engages in many factors viewed collectively to achieve overarching project impact. As an open-ended investigation into my relationship, I propose a series of 6 to 8 time-based one-off performance happenings over a span of several months. These happenings can be a few hours or take multiple days in length with each responding to an identified idea, technology, or situation. My self-guided arts process will be as follows:

IDEA > QUESTIONS > DESIGN > DISCUSSION > REDESIGN > FABRICATION > PERFORMANCE > DOCUMENTATION > DISSEMINATION

This directional pattern of behaviour mirrors my response to digital platforms where I broadcast to the world but have completely stopped engaging in exchanges online. The discussion stage is between living people and may be in person only, depending on the idea being explored. A key factor is that I am not creating new ways of being for others; I am seeking new ways of being for myself alone. Examples of early ideas and questions I may explore are:

  • Will I have a role to play when there are no jobs left for human beings?
  • Can contributing towards technology help ensure my vitality in this new world?
  • Can I become part machine?
  • Can I turn my body into a 3D printer?
  • How would it feel to be part 3D printer?
  • What behavior would being part machine entail?
  • What would I 3D print in my new human-machine body?

The following process will be to design a way for 3D printer filaments to become part of my hand or arm as a functional technology assemblage which would then allow me to conduct a performance where I learn to be a 3D printer and print my first object, essentially replacing the computer component with my own brain. I would document this either through current or older technology; perhaps on a VHS recorder adding layers of technology translation and process. Everything will be contextualized in a series of journal entries that accompany the visual materials if/when disseminated… More to come as I enter the spring and summer…