Can digital art offer its creators a gateway to immortality? VR shaman Nate Talbot intriguingly explores the barriers between cyber and physical life with his 3D sculptures. When breathing life into his creations, he works with scans of decaying and living objects which range from fungi to human beings. What’s so fascinating is how Nate considers that process a way to immortalise the living elements he digitises, which raises the question of how art in general helps the living in some form vanquish our ultimate decay. If Goya painted Charles IV of Spain and we now still in some form give life to that person by experiencing that artwork, is that not some form of immortality as well? Besides the conceptually engaging narrative behind the works, pieces like Ascension have a far deeper value.
The spiritual layer of the piece can be felt through its visual narrative, where we see a humanoid creature in an almost womb-like state. The ascension referenced in the title feels like an event just around the corner, perhaps the unfolding of some new evolutionary stage we’re secretly witnessing. The setting feels akin to a cloudy limbo, which could refer to that in-between world connecting the virtual and the tangible. The color palette feels slightly oceanic, evidencing how the digital seas are perhaps mirroring their real-life counterparts. Nate’s cybernetic explorations have formed an own brand of bio-art, creating their own unique universe. This was an important factor in the choice for me to reach out to Nate to feature this and two other works in the ‘Impossible Worlds’ MoCDA exhibit, currently running at the NFT institute in the Sandbox Metaverse. Be sure to pay it a visit and meditate with us on the different futures life could have in the digital world.