IF ONE MERGES WITH ANOTHER

Series of photographs, 2018.

We (used to) think about half-human/half-machine as a futuristic idea. However, we carry implants in our teeth, IUDs in our uterus, phones in hour hands, glasses in our faces. The object can be read as a supplement that is added to a supposedly natural body and modifies it. It does not destroy human nature, because there is no such thing — humans as outside of things, of technology. We are not just surrounded by things, they go through our bodies, our minds, our language, they disappear into us. Objects are not external to us, we are technique.

We are not only touching things,
they are also touching us.
One is not better or worse because of the other;
they both changed.

If one thing combines with another, they come together to make one whole thing, the first can change so gradually into the second that we might not notice the change. This indistinctness leads us to think and explore the perceptual limits between people and things. Where does one end and the other begin? Can one truly disappear into the object?

Before any merging attempt, it is important to observe, reflect on, and emphasise the commonalities instead of differences between one and the thing. The merging can be achieved by direct contact with the object and through different methods: color or pattern use, body shape modification, or a combination of both.

If One Merges with Another is a series of exercises that test the actual possibility of disappearing into the things one encounters in daily life (a chair at the studio, the door of the office, a sculpture or the train on the way home). Each photograph documents the moment in which the merging gesture is at its highest possible level, i.e. when the person is harder to spot within the object. The intention is to confuse the observer and invite them to reflect on and question the border between people and things.


Mark