Untitled (Bread and Circuit Boards), 2021. Digital collage using found photographs.

Welcome to the Metaverse. Billed as a revolution in human interaction and experience, a neo-Renaissance of digital synergy. The dark reality will of course be quite different.

Take a look around you. The wits of our children already reside within the liquid crystal confines of the screen. Held captive inside a pixelated panopticon constructed by our javascript jailers. Passively absorbing the OLED parade of hyper-sexualised banality, ad campaigns and dubious propaganda. Not thinking. Just tapping. Their vacant faces betraying equally vacant minds; Crossed eyes pressed up against scratch-proof glass. Bathed in an eerie glow from the second they wake up, to the moment they go to bed.

Now the plan is to completely immerse their fragile impressionable psyches into this cellular cesspit, encouraging them to travel through a V.R. wormhole to exist in a pathetic parallel dimension. A desolate digital realm inhabited by soulless androids, implemented by identically hollow robots. An inadequate virtual facsimile devoid of substance. A twelve megapixel mirage glimpsed through a pair of blue-light blinkers.

Never before, prima fasciae, have humans been so completely wired to each other, and yet, we remain so pitifully disconnected.

The Internet has become a gaping vitriolic chasm. A dark chamber filled will malignant cacophonous echoes. A click-bait coliseum where a steady stream of duelists bludgeon each other with words for the right to the wrong opinion, watched on by the baying masses hungry for first blood. The ‘Metaverse’ will form yet another technological tear in the fabric of society. Cultivating and reinforcing delusions of all predilections. And that is precisely what it is being engineered to do.

You’ll be sat there, goggles on, in a pool of your own waste, plugged in and entirely switched off. Trading meaningless non-fungible trinkets. Taking “super busy” ‘meetings’ with Unicorns as the real world collapses around you. Meanwhile, the emperors of Big Tech and politics will be reclining Neroesque, in the opulent splendour of their private islands, not a mealworm in sight. Unencumbered by the dehumanising policies they lay down for you to abide by.

Caligulan in its scope, the Transhumanist vision of this new world culminates in the total merging of Man and machine. Imposing an A.I. addition to Zallinger’s March of Progress, “Homo Deus” (God Men), intended to transcend the imperfect, fleshy limits of our condition whilst denying it altogether. Effectively erasing the human from Humanity.

‘ScienceTM‘ would have you believe that we are merely a corporeal collection of cells; flesh and blood animated by perfunctory but ultimately inconsequential bio-electrical impulses.

We are each in fact a focused point of cosmic attention wrapped in limitless possibility, an interconnected fragment of a unified consciousness experiencing itself within the third dimension. An eternal articulation of divine Universal light and love which just so happens to find itself on a planet which has come to be known as Earth.

In the right hands, art is a manifest expression of the acknowledgment of that reality; Which is entirely why it ‘hits different’ to anything that could ever be conceived by technology or assembled by automata.

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