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Digital bodies serve a myriad of purposes that generally fulfill the desires and needs of many different orders. Some functional, technical, pragmatic, and others more secret, hidden, colored by the tint of dark desire. One thing is for sure: what is not possible defines what we seek to create.
I like to think of the pieces in this collection as representing the digital body “in dialogue with”: in dialogue with the environment, in dialogue with other species, in dialogue with itself. This dialectic behavior is a constant in Milton Sanz’s work. Nature, the untouched, the hostile. But also the stark embrace of customized corners of the virtual, painstakingly manufactured spaces that seem to have been created exclusively for one purpose: to protect those who inhabit them. The darkness feels like the void, that which we are missing. But at the same time, territories that preserve yet undiscovered locations provide the potential for what can be, for what we still haven’t developed, a space for anything we can summon in our mind’s eye.
The character in these works, a recurring form of avatar of the creator’s futuristic self projection, sits undeniably alone but at the same time always accompanied by some sort of entity that empowers this dialectic dynamic. This ambiguity pertaining to company with others or lack thereof becomes a key to diving into these worlds. Being surrounded by a sea of faces doesn’t mean we do not feel alone. “Alone” can be the elusive definition of whatever we are normally yearning for, be that the human caress or the feeling that we have somehow never arrived at an aspired destination. The light we are still to find.
Verisimilitude in these works is a double edged sword. Continuing the dialectic relationships, we can find on one side a pristine realism resulting from Milton’s impeccable management of the craft. Color, texture, composition seem to flow away from his hand almost seamlessly. On the other side, this almost uncanny form of hyperrealism pales before the expressive nature of the surreal and of deliberately digital-looking details that make us wonder what the line between reality and the virtual world is.
Milton shares with me that for him, nature in these worlds represents a form of untamed hostility. Something to be overcome, dominated, something we need to conquer before it conquers us. I feel like emotions in this representational atmosphere can serve a similar purpose: that which we have to deal with, that which cannot be left uncontrolled. This deeply emotional kind of topography invites us to explore how we feel when we are alone. Alone with wild nature, alone with constructed spaces, alone with these artificial imaginaries…
Alone with ourselves.