The ecological crisis is about identity as much as it is about agency. How can we look at ourselves differently to start re-shaping who we are? The future provides an interesting perspective from which we can look back on the present with distorted hindsight. Fragments of Identity explores the relational space between time, self and identity, and digital technology. In the age of the Anthropocene, the traces we leave for our future selves to understand are nameless and volatile. Digital technologies have created vast new worlds that transcend space and time. While we happily virtualize and eternalize culture, we collaterally produce an invisible physical infrastructure of hefty underwater cables and omnipresent datacenters. This project critically explores the intersection between representation, identity, and materiality.
The Ain Ghazal statues are large lime plaster and reed statues discovered near present-day Jordan. They are between 8500-9200 years old and are the earliest large-scale sculptural depictions of the human form ever discovered. Presently, digital scans of these sculptures are available on an open-source database as 3D STL files which can be 3D printed.
From then until now, we have been and are creating simulacra of ourselves. But while the same questions of identity remain, the mediums of reproduction have changed. The production of culture is increasing exponential, distracting us from the associated physical waste. With questions of identity and meaning at the centre of our greatest crises, how does the continual reproduction of culture shape or distort it? Perhaps all that’s left will be the byproduct of this process, as the flywheel spins out of control and shatters.
With digitization often being represented as something inevitable, Fragments of Identity poses critical questions on its physical effect in terms of infrastructure, as well as its effect on culture and identity. Using the future as a moving frame of reference, a series of artefacts are displayed to jolt the viewer into alternative realities.