Borderline of Humanity

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I have long been intrigued by the idea of society’s increasing reliance on computers and technology. In particular, I am fascinated by the inherent paradox in our growing dependence on the intangible digital realm to facilitate much of our tangible, day-to-day experience.

 

Art, communication, information, space – I am acutely aware that each of these concepts is simultaneously real and indispensable, yet not reducible to a single location in the digital sphere. Tangible media and experience are reformatted into numbered codes, fragments of written text, and digitally hosted files. Our identities, and even our humanness, are subject to the discerning eye of machines. We live in an era in which the meaning of existence in space, physical or otherwise, is becoming increasingly abstract and complex.

 

The focus of my recent work is on the fraught relationship between physicality and the increasingly concealed materialism of the digital age. I explore ways in which new technologies interfere with our notions of what it means to be authentic. I do this through a series of projects, which aim to raise questions surrounding this incongruence (i.e., the abstract weight of a USB drive, the creation of the illusion of space, the pre-programmed intrusion of privacy that ensues when attempting to retrieve a password we originally created ourselves from a network of data). In addition, I examine notions of my own humanity, and the perceptible weight of my own existence, through self-portraits and performance art. I also explore solutions to the occasionally alienating absence of physicality, particularly regarding modern human communication, through experimental and propositional product design ideas.

© By Jiwon Woo

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