LEVI VAN GELDER
DAB DECO: Hyperreal Figures (2017)
All humans who know how to operate a computer, or even more primitive, know how to read, understand the signs of this society. We have access to all the data that is stored inside the secondary world of information we have created. We understand the context of this world. But with time as a destructive factor (or a meteor, climate disaster, nuclear war, alien invasion, Donald Trump) someone may one day look back at our society without understanding our contexts, not unlike the way we reminisce about other extinct civilizations.
When talking about transience of human culture, and how once valuable symbols can deteriorate into contextless, insignificant corruptions of themselves, aquarium decoration is the perfect example. Roman architecture, Chinese artefacts, Buddhist symbols, unrecognisable ruins, all imagery of ancient and (often) extinct civilizations, once submerged with value and layers of meaning, now but a symbol for something we want to simplify as much as possible. The statues are unauthentic par excellence, though they try to imitate authenticity through a decayed appearance that contradicts the water resistant plastic in many ways.
In DAB DECO: Hyperreal Figures I try to decontextualize the identity of our present-day (online) society and generalize it in the same way we generalize other extinct civilizations. It is a fast-forward of centuries, millennia or eons, an exploration for the post-human identity of our culture. How do people or aliens (or in this case: fish) look back at the endeavours of humanity without understanding our contexts? Contexts that even for ourselves are often difficult to grasp because of the speed of our mass-media online society.
DAB DECO: Hyperreal Figures is a simulation in itself, in which fish (as posthuman aliens) look back at the endeavours of humanity without understand our contexts.