The chrysalis is a butterfly in its development stage as a pupa, an embodiment of potential, an image of a yet unfulfilled transformation into life and beauty. This intersection is also the focal point of David Åberg’s art, thematically/philosophically as well as from a purely technical point of view. David Åberg sculpts the non-existing, virtual shapes and bodies moving freely in a non-gravitational digital space. His chisel is the computer, material aspects can be reduced to arithmetics. David Åberg’s work is photo realistic, down to minute detail when zoomed in. Due to the swift development of digital tools, the perceived boundaries between our reality and virtual reality are being increasingly blurred. The movie and video games industries are pushing the limits. Deceased actors can be brought back to life digitally and fictional characters behave lifelike, the homes in the IKEA catalogue on display worldwide are created using CGI rather than photography, and we can no longer know for certain when to distinguish between what is real and what is not. Furthermore we also increasingly engage in digital fantasies. We recreate ourselves online, as avatars, through VR – concepts such as AI and singularity may in the near future even make us thoroughly reconsider the nature of our own human sense of self. Who are we, and what are we to become? With reference to fantasies from popular culture, David Åberg’s sculptures represent such trans-humanistic notions about the relationship between humans and machines, where only the fantastic still distinguishes us from them. In a world where illusions of reality can only be exposed through the use of algorithms, perhaps the only way to be entirely honest is to unambiguously present the unreal, by creating worlds and characters that could coexist with us, and simultaneously get under our skin.
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