An incredible 3D artist has embarked upon a project where he imagines iconic brands and pop culture figures in a dystopian future. But is it an expression of creativity or a colossal warning?
We keep saying that life imitates art and that there is more truth hidden in fictions and fantasy than we realise. But as some works like Orwell’s Animal Farm or Miyazaki’s Spirited Away depict past or present societal trauma –Animal Farm being a depiction of Communism and the Russian Revolution while Spirited Away is an allegory for the Japanese sex trade- would it be such an insane thing to think that some artworks might be predicting our future?
This thought is really not so shocking nor is it new: science fiction writers and filmmakers have been doing it since the genre began, taking wild guesses at what flaw in human nature will lead to our downfall. So far our dependence on technology has been the winning contender, with messages about mutiny and addiction having been rammed down our throats since the 1920s, but recently a new threat has been named: consumerism.
While there has always been an implied threat behind our desire to accumulate, consumerism wasn’t really pinned as a dystopia-inducing problem until Pixar introduced us to a loveable robot who’s sole purpose was to clean up Earth after we trashed it. The humans depicted in WALL-E are obese butterballs with decreased bone density -unable to even walk- that live in a virtual reality maintained by technology while Earth is a dead and dusty garage overflowing with junk. Since this picture we haven’t really seen the horror of consumerism until now.
3D illustrator Filip Hodas from Prague has created a number of images that place iconic figures or brands in a dystopian setting. On the surface these might seem unique and fascinating but –when you really think about it- there’s a lot more to them than dust and overgrowth. The images of the decapitated heads of Mickey Mouse and Bender have very strong Ozymandias vibes about them: “look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” being a clear statement that nothing lasts forever and even the most immortal or beloved idols must fall. In his work, Hodas makes it abundantly clear that the world is being run by conglomerates like Disney, Coca Cola, Nintendo, and Fox with all purist and religious idols being replaced by animation. Simultaneously it’s yet another stab against our dependence on technology as most of the images depict characters from animated TV series or games: mediums from which we gain entertainment and enlightenment. And with all this recent talk of toxic fandom this could be an expression of just how toxic these trends are.
However way you want to read it, there’s a lot to think about in Hodas’ project including its potential as another forecast of where these trends in popular culture will lead us!
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