From the 1st to the 25th of march we took part of IsThisIt? Online Residency
During the residency, Fragmentin presented the research behind their upcoming artwork, entitled Obsology. The residency is an opportunity for the artist trio to create a series of digital images which will later be materialised in a printed format or become an inspiration for the production of sculptures for an upcoming exhibition.
Obsology - a neologism coming from a mix of the words obsolescence and archaeology - is an ongoing series of still and animated CGI images on the topic of Post-digital archaeology.
Today, every instant of life is recorded and therefore creates a massive amount of data. Paradoxically the survival of those data - and the knowledge they contain - has become uncertain: the electronic consumer devices we daily use which aggregate our data are made of rare and exhaustible metal while the servers designed to store them are over-consuming energy to cool down and are becoming rapidly obsolete over time.
Will our considerations on issues such as digitalization and climate crisis last ? What traces will be left over for future generations to remember ours ? And in which form? In that context, Obsology uses irony and absurdity to feature different scenarios borrowing their aesthetics from our web era. In landscapes where humans seem to have disappeared, objects or symbols - that have emerged from our digital imagery - are staged or sometimes physically anchored into sustainable and "archeological" materials such as glass, textile, stone, wood, shell, ice, rare metal or magma. This series also underlyingly questions the perennity of Digital Art itself.
The output of the residency took the form of a research blog separated into chapters as well as seven final CGI images (still image, animated or generative video) for an upcoming exhibition.
What would be the last gesture of today Pompei's tourists before death ? (Self-reflection on Magma, 2020) Like an electronic waste dump of obsolete servers, a bunch of shells are left on the sand in a chaotic way. What messages are they trying to send us? (Bivalves data shells, 2020).How consumer electronics themselves will fare in a future affected by catastrophic global warming ? (Iphone needs to cool down before you can use it!, 2020). Carved into a tree trunk, the text “Stop 5G” and the pictogram “Boycott 5G” form a relic of the past that highlights the forgotten tension between technological progress and environmental protection. (Stop 5G, 2020).Retrieved from remaining icy landscapes of the arctic, frozen wires, evidence of an ubiquitous and intricate connectivity, indicates a thirst for bandwidth (Global wiring, 2020).Printed on a parachute canvas, an emoji - from the whatsapp application - representing an overheated face, seems to be at the mercy of the wind and the heat escaping from the ventilation tube of the building. (Overheatedface.png) Could the inlaying of Captcha and QR code into resistant material such as galvanized steel be a way to conserve and transmit our web imagery to the future generation ? (Hyperhighway, 2020).