We are pleased to present the work We Already Are by Tommy Bourque (Fine Arts BA 2017) on Wednesday July 18th.
This body of work uses digital technologies – smartphone cameras and photographs, Adobe Suite editing software, and peer-to-peer music and sound platforms – to merge, manipulate, and create super-urban spaces in which the technologization of our human bodies has become overwhelming and even (dare I say?) completed. Every pixel of these pieces was either captured or created in digital technology – authentic nature and Southwestern Ontario urban land- and cityscapes enter this work via cellphones, and all the manipulation and animation work happened on a desktop computer. The android bodies in the printed, still images are manipulated photographs of a PVC moveable action figure model for life drawing while the android bodies in the installed video piece, in fact, are Frankensteinian sewing-togethers of photographic details of three human bodies (two identifying as male; one as female) that I stitched together to form one repetitive, androgynous form layered into each photo and given that digital spark of being in animation. My goal with this body of work is to unleash an emotive experience that could never have existed previously without the freedoms and liberties digital applications and practices allow an artist. My overall aesthetic intends that humanity will soon exchange itself with a new technologically autonomous race. Satirically, we already are post-human cyborgs in our contemporary, and my work blatantly removes the façade of human skin to show the working (and decidedly not working) parts underneath. Isolation, alienation, digitized nature and urbanity coalesce here to explore the threatening and at once soothing culture of digital and technological humanity. We exist in our digitized spaces to the point where we withdraw from our natural world, perhaps no longer living in and on it at all.
Tommy Bourque is an experimental digital media artist currently living and working in Waterloo, Ontario. He completed his Honours BA in Fine Arts (with Distinction) at the University of Waterloo in 2017. As part of his Graduating Thesis Exhibition at the University of Waterloo Art Gallery (UWAG), Bourque was the recipient of both the Curator’s Choice Award (awarded by UWAG Curator Ivan Jurakic) as well as the Mayor’s Choice Award for the Region of Waterloo Public Art Program (awarded by Mayor Dave Jaworsky). Bourque’s work explores themes of post-humanity, nature, urbanity, and the complex systems of interchange between all three.
75 King Street S
Waterloo, ON N2J 1P2