Proposal for Seagram’s Plaza, 2021
Avatar Bending Forward is a work that examines the meaning of embodiment. I have created an avatar of myself to further extrapolate on our understanding of the self in the face of current research and the near possibility of Whole Brain Emulation (the uploading of the brain to a computer), External Wombs and brain enhancement through implants and nano-bots. My focus is on interpretations of consciousness and how consciousness and the unconscious would be constituted, if at all, without a body. Avatar Bending Forward is one exemplar in this body of work.
Mies Van Der Roe famously coined the phrase “less is more”. He was the architect who referred to his work as “skin and bones” architecture, one in which structure is not a hidden feature of a building. The modernist notion that form follows function has some parallels with the nagging question about how form and content are intertwined and if they can exist separately. The idea that the mind can be removed from the body may be the penultimate form of that question. Who are we without a body? Avatar Bending Forward represents the departure of the artist from the body. It is a figure that can be interpreted as humbled both before the world (and Mies’s building), perhaps as a figure of abjection, but also as a feminist idol as her scale creates an experience in which we can walk under her and have to gaze up to the heavens to take in her face.