The children of the eighties are the prototypes of upgraded humanity. They are the children
of the digital age, children of the first generation cyborg. The concept of humanity is being
transformed while post-modernism introduces a new era in art. Via computers, television,
cartoons and comics my childhood was immersed in images of cyborgs, super heroes and
machines from the land of the hyper real. The essence of the cyborg became my own, I
identified with the concept of such a being and it has informed my work to date.
Hyper Real in an unreal, virtual world
Post-modern philosophy focuses heavily on the concept of the ‘hyper real’ as immortalised
by Jean Baudrillard. This concept informs my research and has led me to other spheres of
study, cross referencing various genres influenced by the philosophy of the hyper real.
My work explores the contemporary (in)human condition and the aesthetic forms used are
sculpture, conceptual drawing, video and installations. The modern world viewed through
the cathode ray, digital surveillance and observations of contemporary society compelled me to explore a dystopian vision.
‘Men are only as good as their technical development allows them to be.’ – George Orwell
Contemporary society explores the perversions of the media. Serial killers are glorified,
news is controlled and censored, military regimes and dictatorships prevail. The dystopian
My drawings are created using a continuous line, then worked into to add flesh. The images
that are created are cyborgs, reflecting the body’s dystopian descent into the word of the
hyper real. The drawings have a classical style, but flow in an expressively twisted
dystopian vision of contemporary society.
My early work concentrated on the ‘bare bones’ of the cyborg. It carries no flesh, it is the
basis of my work in progress. It is naked and stark as is the central feature in Duchamp’s
‘The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors.’ The drawings are pure cyborg, without
embellishment. They are infantile and simplistic in their appearance but not in their
construction, being drawn in one continuous line.
‘A man who does not accept the conditions of life sells his soul’ Charles Baudelaire.
From this premise I conceived that my first born cyborg would interpret the modern age as I
perceived it. He would grow and evolve through time and influence. Each epoch carries with
it interpreters of that age and it is in the French Symbolist Movement of painters, poets and
novelists that I find particular empathy. Their dystopia is veiled in grandeur, concealing in
the subject matter the notion and fear of decay, which pervades their various works. In
contrast, the cyborg image openly displays that decay as it evolves into a continuing motif in my work.
Graeme Gerard Halliday-Hallidonto ©