Tete-a-tete with Andy Warhol’s ‘Skull’

Sultana Raza at Art Expo New York 2014 4-6 April

Exhibited at Basak Malone’s Booth 411, alongwith Andy Warhol’s ‘Skull’, Sultana Raza’s skulls from her HumanTechHybrid series will have an interesting time, giving news of the 21st century, where a lot has changed in terms of the human brain function, and assorted chips in the human body.


The use of technological devices and other assorted gadgets are changing the way we think. They’re changing the very structure and functioning of our brains. How aware of it are we? Are the machines taking over? Sultana Raza’s HumanTechHybrid explores the effect of technology on the human brain, and shows the insidious influence of machines on our brains. How human is human now?


It’s ironic that humans want to function more like machines, while the machines are becoming more like humans. For example, in films such as ‘Robot and Frank,’ or robots that take care of human beings are designed to become more like us. In Spielberg’s film, ‘AI,’ robots want to be more human than human.  Another example is ‘Data,’ a self-aware, sentient, and fully functional android in the TV series, ‘Star Trek,’ who wanted to feel emotions just like his human creators.


 On the other hand, by playing video games, and interacting with technology most of the time, are nerve circuits are being affected? We are becoming a culture of the switch button, where virtual reality is slowly but surely creeping over our everyday reality. Are we at the beginning of the hybrid stage, and don’t even know it.


The longest running sci-fi TV series, ‘Stargate’ has its characters being affected by all sorts of technological implants and devices imaginable. But they all come with their own set of problems. The main characters always return to their ‘human’ selves’ (not least so that their viewers can continue to identify with them at some level, and because the series had to continue to run, and generate spin-offs).


Many films show the machines taking over our world, the most famous being the ‘Matrix’ trilogy. Films such as ‘iRobot,’ or ‘Eagle Eye,’ show robots or machines going mad. A reflection of the madness of their creators, perhaps? The upcoming film, ‘Prometheus 2’ might reveal that the destructive ‘Engineer’ aliens found on the far-away planet visited by our heroes could be sophisticated robotic creations of future humans.


Perhaps certain indigenous cultures far away from our technology still preserve original ways of thinking and being. In that sense they are far ahead of us, for technology will always lack certain functions and will never be as sensitive as our minds which are far more sophisticated than we can possibly imagine.


Due to the exponential nature of the universe, the more we discover about our brains and minds, the more there will be to discover. This adventure is far more exciting than any tech dream or journey than we can go on, in our sub-created reality.


So Sultana Raza’s HumanTechHybrid series asks if it’s worth becoming a human-tech hybrid? 


©2014 Sultana Raza



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