Izzy Webb’s work perpetually centres around the idea of technology and seeks to explore the growing inseparability between humanity and the digital. It focuses primarily on the idea of a post-biological existence within the metaphysical world.
The word metaphysical derived from Greek to mean ‘after the things of nature, referring to an idea, doctrine or reality outside human sense perception’. In academic culture, the post-human is alternatively celebrated as the next frontier in critical and cultural theory or shunned as the latest in a series of ‘post-fads’. Even if the latter is true, the dissection of current fascinations and technologies reveals a lot about our culture today which Webb explores in her work.
The exhibited work consists of four videos that follow different narrators as they navigate their digital existences. The work is delivered using a sanitised style of 3D video art, which is reflective of the digital world. It is cold and completely weightless; the medium and the message harmoniously match. These digital agents appear across various settings, genres, and modes of representation. Multiple storylines build, converge, and collapse around overarching ideas of existence beyond anatomy: the ways in which we live and work within the machine. Throughout, questions are raised about ideas of place, power, intimacy, spectatorship, and identity.
“I like the thought of traversing the space and time of a digital landscape by employing narration. Multiple narrators allow for many of my ideas, opinions and research to come through in my work and explore to full effect the idea of humanity and the digital coalescing to create this landscape. The digital pieces I created were made with a 3D designing software that allows for digital scenes, environments and objects to be made. I found it to be a key tool to my practice as the concept of information and metaverses in the digital era is so deeply theorised and, to a certain extent, feared. To combat this fear, it’s interesting to compartmentalise this into visuals that we can understand and creatively experiment with.”
In Donna Haraway’s ‘Cyborg Manifesto’, she believes that technology is the key to imagining a ‘world without gender, genesis… without an end and our reinvention of culture’(Haraway, 1985). The digital realm is one where we are semiotically the same…all data is equal. But how exactly can there be equality in a digital existence when we currently infuse so much of our memory of present culture into it? In this body of work, Izzy cautiously disagrees with Haraway and investigates this idea of a post-biological society which Haraway sees as inevitable.
The post-naturalistic landscapes Izzy has created seek to explore the disruption of centuries old beliefs about human nature and culture that try to desperately interconnect with new forms of existence. Each video tackles a different perspective of the narrators as they struggle to reshape their realities without the comforts and borders of physicality.