Playful, thought-provoking, serious, controversial. Pleun van Dijk’s work is full of contrasts and juxtapositions.
The speculative artist/designer, who describes herself as an observer amid a quickly moving and changing world, takes new ideas and developments ‘out of the abstract’ and translates them into a possible future scenario by giving them shape and context.
In her most recent work, Objects of Desire, van Dijk investigated the increasingly intimate relationship between humans and technology that may eventually lead to blurring of boundaries between the two.
To illustrate the concept, the designer, invented a three-step method.
In the first step, a series of selected images representing human genitals, as well as sex toys were translated into a dataset of a machine learning (ML) model. The sex toys, here, symbolized objects that humans, inevitably, have a close relationship with. An additional meaning of the sex toys served as an example of the (sexual) objectification of the human body.
In the second step, using an algorithm, the ML model created a series of entirely new shapes, interpreting the initial dataset.
In the third step, the designer translated the algorithm-generated visual information, back into tangible reality. An outcome of this collaboration resulted in seven anthropomorphic sculptures.
The Objects of Desire design project encourages us to critically evaluate the fundamental questions and ethical implications related to the rapidly evolving relationship between humans and technology. It ‘confronts the viewer with a speculative scenario and leaves them to decide whether they perceive the outcome as human, non-human or something that exists in between.’ (van Dijk, 2021)
Photo credits: Nahmlos
Written for Trendland by guest writer Katarzyna Suzuki