Andrew Thomas Huang presents a new artwork titled Flesh Nest in Athens and Montreal in Spring 2018.
Flesh Nest is a nine-part sci-fi video series which builds and explores a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by digital immortals. A Strangelove Films production, the work was developed by Huang in collaboration with motion capture technology company Noitom, choreographer Nina McNeely and fashion designer Ashley Eva Brock. View a video of the making process at the bottom of this page.
The project is presented for the first time from 24-27 May at Athens Digital Art Festival as part of the Sedition screening programme. The festival showcases digital artwork, from animation to code-generated visual art to robotics. Flesh Nest also premieres as a 9-channel installation at Chromatic Festival in Montreal from 26 May to 2 June.
As well as examining the contemporary fixation with the digital self and with digital life after death, Flesh Nest is also a response to stereotypical depictions of digital structures and elements, which for him are often too disconnected from their human-ness. “While we are often accustomed to seeing the Internet portrayed as vector graphics, data visualization, or other sterile imagery like server rooms, I wanted instead to construct imagery that had the same efficiency, weirdness and mythic vastness as a Hieronymus Bosch painting in which a multiplicity of characters and edifices are building up and crumbling down in the same hellish scrolling tapestry-like space.” By combining digital production techniques with religious themes and classical influences Huang reminds us that the internet is inextricably linked with humans, albeit in ways it is hard to understand.
For Huang, the hype - the fear and excitement - around data immortality is linked to the corporate-led societal tendency to gloss over the production of glossy devices and effects. “It was important for me that there is an honesty about the artifice of this universe. Unlike my other VFX-heavy work, this world remains deconstructed for viewers. Actors shot on blue-screen in rubber suits crawl in front of film equipment left in the frame. Motion captured avatars retain the glitches inherent from the imperfections of the capture process.” By putting production at the forefront, Flesh Nest questions the way digital images are constructed and emphasises the link between much-hyped ‘futuristic’ technologies and those which have been in use for years.
Athens Digital Art Festival 2018 - 24 - 27 May, Athens, GR
Chromatic 2018 - 26 May - 2 June 2018, Ancienne École des beaux-arts de Montréal, Quebec, CA