Parker Shatkin’s work centres on digital folklore, the uncanny, and the internet as a liminal space. Through new media and photography, Parker reveals and documents altered realities that exist under or alongside our own in order to examine the implications of existence within a digital network.
Parker’s recent work builds on late ’90s net.art to explore the possibilities of art that focuses on interactivity and expansiveness rather than aesthetic. She is interested in the simultaneous ephemerality and permanence of digitally-native work, it’s inherent liminality and strangeness. She is further examining the implications of art that exists solely in a digital space, and the potential for art to exist outside of the museum and gallery on an internet that is quickly becoming more corporate.
xXproxyXx imagines a near-future in which our lives are spent fully online. In this new metaverse, where our online forms are more real than our physical forms, what's stopping us from transcending the human body? If you could present yourself as anything online, which aspects of the human form would you keep, if any? What determines our humanity, if not a physical form that looks and acts human?
xXproxyXx asks these questions through the the form of a digital Tumblr-diary that includes text posts and 3D-modelled images to explore the possibilities of a digital body. Using Tumblr allows for interactivity with the digital body of xXproxyXx by other (“real”) bodies that are in earlier stages of this kind of posthuman development, determined by their presence online and their participation in a digital-native network.
xXproxyXx is not quite posthuman, but explores what the digital transition to posthuman could look like. This transition goes far beyond a shift in personal identity, with implications for a transformation to a posthuman society. The internet is already an example of this, with entire communities based around digital spaces, and impending web3 potentialities accelerating the digital-first culture. In this transitional space we can explore the transcendence of the physical human form as both freeing and limiting, and examine various forms that this transcendence can take.