Lex Machine (Archetype11 Nova) is back with another visually stunning region / installation which – as with all his designs – is sure to both engage and challenge the eye and mind. Occupying a Full private region utilising the Land Capacity bonus, this is again a build that offers visitors much food for thought: a journey through modern life and the potential for questions who – and where – we are.
Entitled Saturated, the installation involves a flat landscape which – in keeping with the region’s name – is saturated to the point of waterlogging as it sits just above the waters of the surrounding sea. From it springs, apparently at random, figures, statues, objects both familiar and strange, mixed with a scattering of vegetation.
Mermaids mix with radio / telecommunication towers mix with figures apparently in suspension and towers of static-filled video screens, whilst laptops and old computers lie discarded in powdery piles and figures stand with cameras and screens or radios in place of heads, the body of an automatic handgun points skywards, and more. It all seems so chaotic, so unconnected, so jumbled and surreal; what could be the connections between these disparate elements? Perhaps the easiest way is peek at the region’s About Land description.
Rain, it can bring life. But when the ground has had it’s fill, first comes damage, next destruction. Death is last. Are we saturated?
Are we better off with these constant inputs or was less more? When was the last time we savoured anything?
– Saturated’s About Land description
With these words, we gain a framework of context, one fleshed out by the landscape before us: a statement on life and our ever-increasing reliance on -addiction to – technology (perhaps most aptly defined by the figure “snorting” Facebook and the litter of computers and laptops and cell phones strewn over mounds of a white substance like some form of new cocaine), and the fears (re: the Terminator-style figures leaping out of screens of data) and polarisations it brings to our daily lives.
The polarisations might be best indicated by the family gathered to the north-east, where mother, father, and child all have heads replaced by screens symbolising the manner in which technology has reduced daily living and personal time to the need for everything in our lives to become a matter of public record with meaning only given through its presence on social media. At the same time, this demand to be publicly accessible contrasts with the ability of technology in enabling us to hide behind masks of anonymity, as represented by the figures wearing / carrying masks, or with Russian doll-like heads. Meanwhile, to the south-east, the figure stabbed with syringes suggests the divide generated by the easy passage technology gives to the passage of misinformation into our lives, warping our common sense against the realities of science and medicine.
Elsewhere the symbolism might be clearer such as the large eyes watching over everything like Big Brother – although whether we see this as the state or in the form of corporate goggling-up of our data (or both) is a matter of personal choice. But really, there is such a richness of metaphor to be found within Saturated, that trying to write about it is no easy matter. From the apple and serpent (our end of innocence? the beginning our our fall simply born by our coming into existence?) through the presence of mermaids and flying fish (the explorations of the unknown? the free flight of the imagination we once had?) to the reimagining of the March of Progress, there is so much to say that is difficult to translate into the written word.
Simply put, Saturated is – as with all of Lex’s builds – something not to read about, bot to experience for yourself – and I encourage you do do so.
With thanks to Moon Cloud.
- Saturated (Golden Horizon, rated Moderate)