Sentient beings living worthwhile lives is the first solo exhibition in Portugal by Paris-based, British artist, Isaac Lythgoe.
Lythgoe’s work employs ideas from narrative and storytelling traditions to discuss how prospective technologies may influence our future societal structures. Isaac´s sculptural and wiriting practice is broad-based and informed by multidisciplinary reseach; recent body of work focuses on our relationship to nature and the natural. For Spinoza there is nothing but nature and its attributes, in this way ideas of man-made, machine-made, consciousness or Artificial Intelligence, can all be considered Nature – there is only nature. However, negotiating technological integration increasingly govern the socio-economic landscape and our interpersonal relations.
How might we consider ideas of desire or even mortality in this future landscape?
Lythgoe’s sculptural work integrates new media techniques with traditional sculpting modes, 3D modelling and printing employed non-hierarchically with clay sculpting or wood carving, and by extension everything inevitably is handmade. The three sculptures presented here use the deer as a narrative signifier in a discussion on time and space – past, present and future. In this way, we are directed sculpturally from the floor to the ceiling.
In Narrative Tradition, the anamorphic and the natural facilitated a way to discuss moral and social issues beyond the confines of the body. In its contemporary guise, storytelling is equally willing to use robots and aliens to discuss these same ideas, this is posited by the artist as a temporal horizon shift; that ideas of the future are how we tell stories to understand the present.
The show is accompanied by an essay from Hussein Al Nasr, a researcher focussing on the philosophy of technology, speculative aesthetics and the political economy of new media.