Incredible giant robot artwork examines link between technology and mental health
Digital technology is making us all more anxious. That’s the message behind the latest perception-challenging work from Scottish artist Michael John Hunter.
The work, titled ‘In the Future I won’t be Anxious’ features a sculpture of a giant toy robot, made to symbolise and represent technology, and follows Hunter’s previous works ‘Fly’ and ‘As i grow, as i lose’, both of which also used oversized sculptures and camera manipulation to challenge the viewer’s perception.
Hunter said, “This work is about the role technology plays as a potential cause of anxiety for all of us.”
“The robot represents the promise of an amazing high-tech future. But I feel like ‘the future’ really is now, but maybe it’s not all it was promised to be and there’s a downside to all the technology that surrounds us and infiltrates almost every aspect of our lives.”
Entirely self-funded, Hunter made the 17-foot sculpture over the last year. For the artist, the physicality of his sculpture and real-life London locations is also an important aspect of the work.
He said: “As with the discarded robot in this work, I feel there is a need for us to put down our technological ‘toys’ and engage more with our environment, our surroundings and each other; to engage with the real.”
He added: “For me, spending months hand-making this sculpture has helped reduce my own anxiety, so this work has added importance for me.”
Hunter views the work as essentially a form of play. The final image and process of creation all combine to make something fun yet serious. Through hand sculpting and the use of analogue photography, traditional hands-on techniques enable him to be more present with the world. The fact the end result is something so real but appears manipulated and fake is his comment on how our modern mind operates.
Hunter said, “My work is created to challenge the viewer and to make them question what they are seeing. By focusing on the impact technology can have us and our mental wellbeing, I hope people might also start to question their own relationship with technology, so that in the future as a society we won’t be as anxious.”
To find out more about the work of Michael John Hunter please visit www.michaeljohnhunter.com.
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