A project inspired by the American physicist Freeman Dyson’s vision of the spread of extraterrestrial life (including the designing and manufacturing of organisms capable of surviving below and above a thick layer of the ocean’s ice cap on the Moon), by a hypothetical mega-structure known as a Dyson Sphere, by Joe Davis’s statement: “If you build a bridge, sooner or later someone will come across the bridge,” by the discovery of Proxima Centauri b (commonly referred to as “another Earth”) and by the final period in the operations of the Cassini probe circling Saturn.
The 35th International Geological Congress in Cape Town in 2016 decided that the time was ripe to recognise and begin to formalise the Anthropocene. Yet the urgent question is whether and when the formalisation of the End-of-the-Human era will take place. Is what we today refer to as artificial intelligence and super intelligence going to develop like the human population? Or will this process be infinitely faster and thoroughly different? Establishment of settlements outside Earth and the solar system seems to be a highly likely option for the future. If so, should we start to anticipate the migrations of the post-human era? The triptych We – The Common Body reflects on such a conjuncture.
The project consists of three parts. Installed on wheels and tied with ropes, they form a model of a common organism.
Object A (This View Has a Potential) is a sphere-shaped incubator inhabited by thousands of earthworms, which are the Earth’s oldest group of invertebrates (Aristotle and later Darwin recognised them as the bowels of the Earth; Darwin spent nearly 30 years of his life studying earthworms.) The vermicompost produced by the earthworms moves onto a grid of sensors, which transfer the signals to the installation’s other objects. The object resembles a defensive structure and is pulled by ropes and a reinforced belt.
Object B (Vanitas) is an attempt to outline a hypothetical habitat without identifying its future coloniser. Its emptiness is illusory as inside its thirteen domes – hexagonally arranged to resemble the pole of Saturn and Jams Webb’s telescope – changing inflections of light can be seen, depending on the signals sent from Object A. The object is available for settlement.
Object C (Virtual Phenotype) is inspired by a death penalty chair. With an attached VR helmet, the chair offers access to generative Virtual Reality. Digital sound synthesisers use the signals from Object A’s sensors to generate a sonic space. The same signals are also processed into visual elements which enhance a virtual migration one experiences while sitting in the chair. This virtual journey overlaps with the archaic possibility to move the entire triptych on wheels.
I am more convinced than ever that we are not alone.
— Stephen Hawking (2016)
We – The Common Body was awarded the Main Prize at the DRAFT SYSTEMS 2017 WRO Media Art Biennale.
Elvin Flamingo, a.k.a. Jarosław Czarnecki, born in 1967. Displayed for the first time in 2014, his The Symbiosity of Creation, a multi-dimensional, long-term project combining technology and bio-art, has won acclaim nationally and internationally. He is Lecturer and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Intermedia and Sculpture, Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk.
Radosław Deruba, born in 1987, a visual artists. He works with and designs real-time generative visuals. He graduated from the Faculty of Intermedia and Sculpture, Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk.
Patryk Chyliński, born in 1992, a generative artist and experimental musician. In his work, he combines the real and digital worlds. He is completing his MA Programme at the Faculty of Intermedia and Sculpture, Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk.