Winkleman Gallery is very pleased to present Your Mom Is Open Source, our first solo exhibition by New York-based artist Shane Hope. In his latest suite of Molecular Modeling prints (“Mol Mods”) and “Compile-a-Child” drawings, Hope collapses possible futures like technoprogressive child’s play. Foreseeable advances in neuro-, cyber-, gene-, and nano-technologies will likely snowball our transition into “posthumans,” beings whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer unambiguously human by our current standards. Molecular manufacturing, artificial general intelligence, and life extension technologies may make possible the printing of printers, inventing inventors, as well as the expansion of ontological wiggle-room into and across novel substrates.
Asserting that art can provide key pictorial explorations into the ramifications of more precise manipulations of the smaller basic building blocks, Hope’s “Mol Mods” playfully unravel the world at these scales by foreshadowing newly fantastical conflations of building and growing. Rendered and built with customized versions of user-sponsored open-source molecular visualization systems, these hyper-detailed monotypes anticipate their own actualization by way of nanofacture and picture junk sculptures, seashell crafts, among other molecularly doodled composited chimeras each developing from an embryonic stage; animals fashioned from flowchart cells woven into food webs connected by arrows that hitherto indicated the folds and twists of proteins; carbon nanotube moths flapping amidst balloon animal monkey molecules and less definitive evolutures with buckyballs in their eyes.
Hope also traces technological trajectories through his “Compile-a-Child” drawings, which appear as grade-school, diaristic musings of forecasted, artificially selected mind-children. These speculative anecdotal vignettes include child instantiations restored from backup; “builtday” party activity lists; getting grounded as a singleton; uplifting sub-sentient life forms and not-quite-so-living things as domesticated pets; and saving money to afford the xmit rights to resurrect relatives. As in our present time, Hope’s imagined offspring from the future command an unmistakable candor through which prescient peek-a-boos into all-powerful playpens innocently showcase our forthcoming world of transhumanity.
Shane Hope received his MFA from the University of California San Diego in 2002 and has attended the University of California Los Angeles, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He has exhibited at Virgil de Voldere Gallery in New York; Project Gentili, in Prato, Italy; iMAL (interactive Media Art Laboratory) in Brussels, Belgium, Rosamund Felson Gallery in Los Angeles and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Hope’s work is also currently featured in the 2009 Prague Biennale.