Motherboard (2024)

Exhibition at fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

Exhibition dates: Tues 23 April – Sat 4 May 2024

Humanity has an inherent need for validation, manifested in the creation of reflective images of ourselves. This narcissism has powered the drive to present and reinterpret the world around us. Artists have always shown a mirror to the world, interpreting it and redefining it into a multitude of versions. Creating art is like a diary entry, where artists absorb the world around them and regurgitate it back to the viewer.

In this series, I have chosen engravings of classical statues, which have always appeared to me as a particularly narcissistic form of human presentation. Through them, we strive to see ourselves represented as the perfection of physical beauty; as actual gods.

The arrival of artificial intelligence (AI) is no different, except it is cannibalising the artists’ art. AI consumes the pantheon of art that has defined the human face and form for millennia, from ancient statues to modern photography. It regurgitates our representations of ourselves back to us, resulting in an endless mirrored hall of confection that can be fascinating and beautiful, whilst also unnerving and frightening.

My ongoing fascination with motherboards – the engine rooms of computer technology – arrives at a potent juncture in the evolution of art. In order to make my art, I need to destroy the machinery that I use to make my art. I cannibalise the very mechanics that craft the digital world, colonising antique engravings with their alien presence.

Extracted from a discarded laptop, the original motherboard component was scanned at ultra-high resolution. Multiple representations and generations were placed, layered, rotated and meticulously manoeuvred in enormous files with dozens and dozens of layers. Yet, throughout the process the motherboard never loses its purity; it is never distorted or curved. Every feature is a straight line, a toxic slurry of motherboards creating a colonising infestation over the human form.