Sensorial Divinities

Paulo Arraiano

2019, 1920×1080 Full HD Video 05:43m

Paaulo Arraiano presented his recent video work Sensorial Divinities as part of the eponymous solo-show which has been on view until September 4th 2019 at Milan-based art space Dimora Artica.

The paradoxical act of creation comes from a place of restlessness. The body, the mind, and the spirit inhabiting the conflict of time and space. Paulo Arraiano’s work embodies some of the most uneasy questions of what it means to be a citizen in the 21st century.

Through an ecological and minimal aesthetic, Arraiano shows a mediation between paradoxes, that at a first glance wouldn’t coexist. The artist’s clean and precise work shows an apparent peace and order, which hides the dichotomy of the savageness and what is highly polished. The choice of digital found imagery, captured with advanced technological tools (such as satellites and NASA devices), emerges as a base of the free access to information online. However, the lingering content of the images is nature, scaling from micro to macro. What is intrinsically human and how far can the technological humanity survive? Is there any degree of consciousness in the machine? The natural fluidity of life has been extensively explored by Paulo Arraiano, under the visual austerity of technological media. At this time the artist observes a shift on the paradigm of the emotional, sexual and spiritual human nature, which is being suppressed by a remote and mobile intellectualization. We are bound by the unknown eyes of God that records our digital life on a cloud. If on the one hand, our bodies are now remote mediators of control (monitored and also monitors), on the other, we are still made of the purest essence of the universe. On ​Sensorial Divinities,​ Arraiano explores exactly that – our existence and our source as water. Could it be that we are reaching a point of non-presence in which our hyperconnected life may soon depend on gluten-free, lactose-free, sugar-free, animal-free tube saline feeding? When thinking about the Anthropocene effects – extinction, possible humanity relocation to never before habitable areas of the world – one must wonder how does change affect the environment and how does the environment affect human essence.

The artist plays on the field between reality and the digital as a means to archive what once was and may not be, resulting in a dystopian view of post-humanism or trans-humanism. Moreover, Arraiano questions what is sensorial today and how are our senses activated, as we must assume that how we communicate has shifted into a visual paradigm, hence our connection to nature is being mediated by images. In ​Carbon Footprint Paulo Arraiano, shapes the flowy, almost etheric record of a spiritual machine, bird’s eye view, of bare land, which once was modeled by a life force. Fossilized memories of humanity are engulfed by sensory and watery appealing shapes, which may be containers of the aforementioned serum of life. The liquid is in a state of flow that feeds the shown ecosystem of possibilities.

The work that gives the title to this exhibition ​Sensorial Divinities,​ functions as an apparatus for a new spirituality. During five minutes images of nature and technology are merging, while a voice recites what unconsciously resembles a pre-paradigm change mass – “Transforming society and reality as we know it in the present moment, we are spectators of a precise moment where fiction… magic are becoming science facts. The arrival of the internet of things…”

Should we say ‘Amen’? Or perhaps… Are we creating digital immortality or could we become digitally immortal in a Google cloud of souls?

Text by Catarina Vaz