This past weekend I did a painting on Chapter 8, The Engineer, for The 5 Dragon Daughter performance this coming Friday. An explanation of the symbolism is below.
The engineer represents man’s obsession to satisfy his emptiness with material things and to achieve immortality through his own efforts via technology. This began with the Tower of Babel as men sought to reach the heavens becoming as gods and continues today with the Transhumanism and Singularitarianism movements which promise unlimited joy and immortality through merging with machine intelligence and self-guided evolution or genetic manipulation. The Tower of Babel prompted God to say that if men were allowed to continue building, then nothing would be impossible for them. A singularity is a point after which a growth function essentially goes vertical and has come to represent the point of transformation of humanity when literally “nothing shall be impossible for them” via the exponential growth in technology. This painting combines all elements: a cyborg (the engineer) in a dystopic post-apocalyptic landscape, the Tower of Babel which rises in the shape of an exponential function to a singularity in the heavens (black hole). The engineer (cyborg) beckons the power of the singularity, but it is not yet clear whether he will be destroyed by it. Just as no one knows exactly what lies beyond the event horizon of a black hole – is it a worm hole to a new world or is it complete utter destruction at the subatomic level?– likewise no one knows what lies beyond the technological singularity. It is an object of fear, awe, and curiosity. The cyborg is physically delicate and hunchbacked resembling the body of someone who spends too much time behind a desk or in cyber-space. The sky is scorched and the atmosphere thin – possibly the result of nuclear war. The Tower of Babel and surrounding buildings are gold and silver representing power and money. A couple of pyramids are thrown in to tie the scene to antiquity and represent the illuminati interests which seek to turn the world into a scientific dictatorship in order to secure humanity’s transhuman destiny.