Extropians

“Extropians believe that advances in science and technology will some day let people live indefinitely and that humans alive today have a good chance of seeing that day. An extropian may wish to contribute to this goal, e.g. by doing research and development or volunteering to test new technology.

“Each of the artists in this show relates to extropian values in some way. Topologies speak about using new and old technology to bring together science and art. In their works the artefacts of science are treated with something approaching reverence.

“Tony Lloyd and Giles Alexander make paintings which render a rational world of science and reality with emotion and a sense of awe which owes something to the treatment of the sublime in romantic painting. Charles O’Loughlin ruthlessly catalogues and analyses his own life, producing books of data and tantalizingly indecipherable charts. Stephan Balleux applies technology to the process of painting itself, producing works which are a detailed analysis of their own manufacture, yet at the same time creating works which are depictions of hybrid entities – transhuman creatures, part paint and part flesh.

“Toshiya Tsunoda and Michael Graeve use sound as a way to extend the normal range of human perception. Tsunoda’s use of contact microphones makes it possible to hear the normally inaudible vibration of physical materials. Graeve’s work uses hifi equipment and painting to produce interactions, interferences and resonances between human gesture and machine process.

“In these works technology is used to extend the possible range of human experience or hint at transhuman or post-human hybrids. The scientific process is mythologised in a way which, if not unquestioning, is at least optimistic about the possibility for scientific progress.”

Extropians: Sullivan & Strumpf Fine Art, November 26 to December 13, 2009

Image: Tony Lloyd, The Relational Aesthetics of Eternal Vigilance, 2009. Oil on linen, 23 x 30cm. SSFA

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