Monday, September 23, 2013

Bio-Art: Lisa Black.

So, before I went to Canada, I ditched my smart phone. At first, it felt like I was a little lost at sea, but then I realized something: no, I was not lost, I had been freed. Since then, I've felt more creative and happy without the phone than I was with it. The experience has also made me more aware that more and more people are slowly becoming little more than cyborgs, unable to lead normal lives without some electronic whosiwhatzit.

Then Lisa Black reminded me that I will be assimilated, and resistance is futile.

Hasta la vista, Bambi. 

Born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1982, Lisa Black does plenty of work that reminds us how terrifying or beautiful the future can be. The idea behind many of her pieces forces viewers to question the relationship between, and eventual integration of, nature with technology. This does not mean animals with iPods. It means that we have to face the inevitable reconsideration of our definition of "natural."

There are two main types of cyborg animals on Lisa Black's production line: "Departed" and "Fixed." The "Departed" pieces feature various animal skulls with various cybernetic bits - gears, wires, etc. - attached. The "Fixed" series hits a bit harder, integrating various mechanical parts with more or less whole animal bodies. The very use of the word "Fixed" also suggests that what was already natural wasn't 100% perfect to begin with - and, admittedly, it usually isn't.

Another thing Lisa Black does involves found butterflies preserved forever as jewelry. While not as jarring as her cyborgs, these are still pretty cool pieces. For those not aware, dead butterflies are extremely fragile creatures. They are nonetheless beautiful, causing many a butterfly to be put behind glass in order to preserve it. At least they get out there as wearables, here. See them and more at this page, which also shows off the cyborg beasts and skulls. 

I'm going to (mis)quote my bio-art book when I say, "mankind has evolved to manipulate evolution." Indeed, maybe a reconsideration of nature's sanctity is in order after these dozens of millennia mankind has been on Earth. Dogs aren't really natural given how much we've meddled with them; neither is corn.That still doesn't mean that we should all be glued to our iPhones just because they're the future.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your new freedom! May it bring you much joy.