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The HTMlles Festival: The New World of Digital Philosophy

November 10th, 2014     by Romina Cameron     Comments

Photo: Mehreen Murtaza

Mehreen Murtaza has generated a new vision of the apocalypse, and it’s not the one you expected—it’s so much more. Featured in this year’s Festival HTMlles, Murtaza’s Triptych is a three-paneled image of the kind typically found on religious altars. The triptych combines the utopian and the dystopian, creating a harmonious collage of a chaotic time. Filled with the urban, the alien and the divine, Murtaza’s Triptych displays her deep interest in Islamic historicity and Islamic iconography.

The work explores folklore, mysticism and religion, producing what Murtaza describes as “a personal vision of ‘digital philosophy’; a different vision of this tentative, emerging world view.” Triptych explores this vision, where everything has been engulfed by digital software, and God is a computer programmer. Each panel displays people merging together with technology as it begins to dominate their bodies. Human spines are plugged into wires, and faces are covered by clocks and telephone dials. The central image displays the complete take over of technology—human figures are shown as lesser beings in comparison to technology, hovering underneath piles of new electronics. Each section of Triptych questions this new world’s ability to succeed and just how much our experience with technology can assist us in our survival.

Born in Saudi Arabia, Murtaza works with a wide variety of media that reference text, painting, and architecture. Her works often bears strong political references alluding to her fixed identity while manipulating her viewer’s perceptions in order to create a sense of confusion or chaos. Murtaza’s work is perhaps best described as digital collages of the future. The settings she creates always appear futuristic, yet are still recognizable as earthly. Murtaza often includes images of people being dominated by their surroundings, perhaps commenting on the idea that the evolution of technology will one day lead to civilization’s demise.

Studio XX will be exhibiting Triptych from November 8th – 15th from 12-5PM.

For those who are interested in examining the work in greater detail, but are unable to attend Montréal’s The HTMlles, Triptych is available on the artist’s website.

This is the third in a series of posts produced in conjunction with The HTMlles Festival

Part 1

Part 2

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