Perhaps the reason I withheld pop culture and media references from my practice dialogue is the fact that I considered them a subconscious, subtle influence and not an integral part of my identity and practice as an artist. Part of building an interdisciplinary practice is the removal of boundaries and so I am removing the boundaries between media influences and artistic influences.
In Yuval Noah Harrari’s Homo Deus , Harrari writes that our descendants (post/transhumans, the future for humanity in terms of biological reengineering and cybernetics) will be godlike, but not in the sense of omnipotence, but closer to Greek gods or Hindu Devas:
“Our descendants would still have their foibles, kinks and limitations, just as Zeus and Indra had theirs. But they could love, hate, create and destroy on a much grander scale than us.” – Just as we would be considered by our ancestors.
“The average person now moves and communicates across distances much more easily than the Greek, Hindu or African gods of old.
To circle around, this brings to mind Ballas, a character from the video game Warframe; an executor of a hyper advanced, post human civilization in the future, having life forms of his own design rebel against him. Immortal, vengeful, lustful and envious, Ballas embodies mythology retold in a contemporary context and is supported by Harrari’s dialogue about our descendants. Additionally, the popularity and enduring nature of mythology from a myriad of cultures supports the permanence of human nature and universal struggles, triumphs and downfalls. The myths we tell in the contemporary era achieve popularity for the very same reason.
In creating a post-internet, transhumanist dialogue in my work, these contemporary influences are relevant and important. The study of ancient cultures lies in conjunction with old, non omnipotent deities and their mythos.
I can’t help but notice the references to transhumanism in pop culture. My question is as to whether or not it delegitimatises artistic inquiry into the area. I am aware that much of pop culture is skin deep and so should be considered as such in its criticality but I still feel like the ideology gets tarnished by insincere bandwagoning. I am also aware that I hold my work and research close to myself which is why I may misconflate shifts in trends to insincere dialogue. The real simple question lies with whether or not it particularly matters. A genuine inquiry into any subject will always be more impactful and nuanced than a fleeting glance.