I’m not generally up to date on scientific discoveries, so I only recently found out about a big one that was made in 2014. Scientists at Northwestern University discovered a reservoir of water deep in Earth’s core, about 400 miles below what we call the surface, that contains three times the amount of water in our vast oceans. So, us land-dwellers really are insignificant, no matter how superior we try to make ourselves. We’re actually microscopic bacteria swimming in a tiny droplet of water floating in the infinite vastness of the universe.
The art of SKYLER PHAM makes me think about what our future as a species may look like if that happens. Their subjects are humanoid seahorses, floating effortlessly in their waterworld, decorated with seaweed-like fins and fronds, their features wobbling like they’re being viewed through an ocean current. To me, they look like humanity as it’s adapted to the environment we’ll create over the course of the next 100,000 years. And in Pham’s creative mind’s eye, we’ve evolved beyond our primitive capitalist notions of gender expression and we present ourselves as fluid beings.
A lot of my creative choices are drawn from my experiences as a non-binary person who experiences gender dysphoria. I want to express that feeling through the artworks. For me it’s kind of like the idea of the uncanny valley – you can recognize my figures as being human in some way, but you know something is different, not quite familiar. I want to create that bit of confusion within the viewer because it relates to my dysphoria. I also think of the abstract shapes that cover some of my figures as body armor. In that way the work is like sympathetic magic. By protecting these figures, I’m somehow protecting myself. Maybe it seems silly, but I can be quite spiritual in that way.Skyler Pham
Check out some of their stunning work below…