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Joint Interview

Creatures of the Virtual Realms

Like the biogeographic realms on the surface of the earth, the virtual realms are also populated with creatures, wonderful life forms. We will discover here through the presentation of ten works a multiplicity of creators’ viewpoints and creative approaches that explore the biological possibilities through virtual technology. From Miri Poppino Kut a raindrop that came to life to fashionista nudibranchs this article will also be for you the opportunity to make amazing encounters !

Sofia Crespo

β€œHow do we engage with the rich diversity of the natural world in virtual, digital space?


This project is part of an ongoing exploration of artificial life using deep learning to generate insects as well as their names and anatomical descriptions. The intention is to celebrate the natural diversity of insectile life, not through the precise, sterile digital reproduction of it, but in the form of new specimens that are digital natives. These do not attempt to impersonate existing insects, but rather embody an insectile “essence” born from the training of machine learning algorithms on datasets of existing insects leading to novel, non-human understandings of the natural. Their diversity and decidedly digital qualities are in complementary contrast to the unsurpassable creativity of natural selection but can act as a prism with which to approach new perspectives and appreciation of the vulnerable, non-human world we too often take for granted.”

Video credit : @soficrespo91 with @entangledothers

Jingxin Wang

“For this piece of art, i attempted to create a trapped creature which interpret the concept of “Xenotransplantation” – the transplantation of living cells, tissues or organs from one species to another. Normally from animal to human. The singular eye is a metaphor of the vicous & selfish observation of human eyes.”

Image credit : @wjx_hasnoenglishname

Nina Muro

“Its name is Miri Poppino Kut. In the initial drafts, it was born from a drop of rain that came to life, so it was set up on a rainy, dark day. However, when creating the image I found that the rain took away from the character itself and it was better to set it up in a neutral environment, so it lost a bit of its origin story. We could say it’s a drop of morning dew that came to life, through a chemical reaction maybe, or perhaps just magic!” 

Image credit : @nninamuro

Konti Chr

β€œSince we know that the underwater world covers 75% of our world, and 5% discovered.
I am trying to show people they have to look deeper inside and around them to see the connection between everything. I think we are in the age of Aquarians who will pour new water that might have an exciting impact on communication and may even prove to be an opportunity to understand one another better.
 My style somewhat reflects metamorphic aliens in a hardcore way; since these things are a bit mystic, sometimes it’s hard to tell what it is indeed.I am drawing a line between anthropomorphic humans to underwater creatures. I can’t always determine how my work will look from the outside because it just comes from a recently discovered feeling. As I said, I will always be on the journey to find the deep ocean inside me and the others.”

Image credit : @konti_chr

Franco Palioff

β€œI have been creating creatures in different media since I’m a child. In a certain way, I think these ideas come from what was once a space of meditation, free association, and putting a special power into a thought, thing or creature in my mind, almost like an alchemic child trying to mix science with magic. Deepen into these forms and mechanisms since back then, has made me create robotic objects which I develop in parallel with figurative painting and 3D videos.”

Video credit : @francopalioff

Sukke Xu

“#MoMo/πŸŒ™
The inspiration of this piece is came from the social media trending #sailormoonredraw, Sailor Moon is a icon of a girl’s courage, adorable but special and full of mysterious identity symbol. In a cyberpunk world, MoMo/πŸŒ™ has the shyness of a girl but the sharpness of a warrior. The tongue of the snake is tempting and deterring. This is probably a very dangerous girl, pls don’t too close.
Momo is the name of my first cat, it’s very interesting that people often say that Momo the cat looks very similar to me, so I created a character image based on our two prototypes. He/she will be braver, crazy, and cuter, #MoMo can do things that Momo the cat and I could not accomplish in the parallel world.”

Image credit : @ssuukk_ee

Gunkspore

β€œWith this piece, I wanted to depict a putrid & slimy creature, born to protect the path of a river leading to places currently unknown (& yet to be revealed) within the GunkVerse. Each piece I make is a bit more context to the world in which all of my characters live, & the expansion of that world is what drives me to wake up every morning & continue creating it.”

Image credit : @gunkspore

Sargon Khinoev

β€œI was meditating about organic and inorganic surfaces as well as aliens and xeno creatures in general, which are usually shown as something dangerous. In my opinion strange creatures are something lovely and inspiring. This was the idea behind this work: To find peace and freedom we need to accept and include the unknown.”

Image credit : @ssssskkkkkddddd

Sarah Ann Banks

“This image was inspired by tiny creatures called nudibranchs! They are sea slugs covered in bright colors, patterns, and textures. Lots of wiggly neon tentacles and polka dots. These two in the scene are alternate world fashionista nudibranchs, out on the town in their trendy outfits.

I had to make two together of course to show the unified effort to look cool and cute. I’m always inspired by nature and science and love to throw in modern elements to give the work some sense of relatability to myself and the world around me. I’m always working towards creating a dialogue between all my creations that sits somewhere between sci-fi and camp. This image to me connects what I often try to explore with my work; current trends, things I find interesting, and things that just make me laugh.”

Image credit : @ssarahbankss

Giusy Amoroso

“Nature itself is nothing else then a technology that may have been created for us; to mold us into the form and the physical shape that we are in. My artworks are fueled by the philosophical and enlightening idea that one can reach a higher form and free mind and body by creating something detached from the known. The possibility of reprogramming ourselves on a quantum level, additionally fuels the idea that our creator or creators have constructed this world for us. Equally we have the power to create worlds, creatures and entities, even identities and selves in the digital multiverse.”

Image credit : @marigoldff x @exitsimulation

Interview by Charline Kirch

Featured image credit : Nudibranchs by Sarah Ann Banks

A huge thank you to the creators who gave me some of their precious time to contribute to this article !

Joint Interview

Humanimality

In recent times my attention has often been focused on works that seem to converge, each in its own way, towards a point where humanity and animality cease to be perceived in a contradictory manner.

These works have a lot to say, whether it is about our cohabitation with nature, or about our identities and the links they have with our bodies.

To feed this reflection I asked three artistsβ€”Anthr0morph, Anni Puolakka and Omenmalumβ€”how they articulate the relationship between humanity and animality in their work.

Anthr0morph

“I like to blur the lines between human and animal and reflect how biology is interconnected. We all evolved from each other and in a way are different forms of the same thing. Our DNA holds the history of so many other forms. I see the faces I create as some type of self designed exoskeleton. An exoskeleton gives shape and abilities to a body. By becoming a chimera, I explore these other types of embodiments that reflect the evolve potential of forms someone can take.”

Anni Puolakka

“In my view, humans are animals. My work reflects, amongst other issues, the need for changes in how we live amongst other species.

One of my recent projects, Oestrus, considers becoming a centaur as a way to love horses. It tells the story of a “horse girl” who has grown up to be an adult who couldn’t imagine mounting a horse. The character has physically distanced themself from horses and engages with them through fantasies of hippic transformation.”

Omenmalum

“We are a single living organism, man is a rational creature, thinking, but sometimes you need to feel and understand that an animal is sleeping in each of us. and I give the opportunity not only to others, but first of all to myself, sometimes to release this animal outside, aesthetically, according to the connections of art, sensually, beautifully and eerily at the same time.”

Interview by Charline Kirch

Featured image credits : Oestrus by Anni Puolakka at the Polansky Gallery, Prague. Photo by Jan KolskΓ½.

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