A fear we as humans face, is that of decaying bit by bit, both physically and mentally, till nothing of our essence remains and we are ultimately forgotten. In the digital age this has extended to literal bits and bytes of our online personalities and as hard drives stop spinning and cloud servers crash, our backed-up avatars might one day only remain as degrading memories. Visualising this perfectly to me, is this work by talented 3D ‘techspressionist’ Felix Rothschild. Realizations – no. 627 shows us that loss of self, how tragic it might be, can also have beauty to it. In the text accompanying the work, the German artist muses that perhaps we theorise too much about time travel and how it could change our present, when at the same time we forget doing the small things in the present that have the potential to profoundly change our future.
Thus we could imagine in the work a faceless, androgynous figure either stuck in an inability to change or an unwillingness to, leading to a certain half-life between one state and the next. I always enjoy works that are open to subjective interpretations, and the beauty of Felix’s creations is both his aesthetic sensibility and his background as a glitch artist, where imperfections and disruptions create their own poetic sensibility. There is a sadness in this piece I was instantly drawn to, we as an audience are offered a glimpse of a figure but see it a moment before disappearing, making us both more curious and frustrated about our inability perhaps as humans to control time at all. Could this be a realisation the artist experienced as well while creating the piece, that while we might dream of changing things both in our past and present lives, the sands of time ultimately must slip through our fingers, unable to even make that minor of an impact on history? I urge you to take in this beautiful piece and discover more of Felix’s work, which explores the uncanny and disorienting sides of visual digital technologies as they interrupt traditional perceptions of self, order and place.