The development of the first stone tools can be traced to just over two and a half million years ago. While the tools from this period represent some of the more obtuse versions of our humanoid ancestors’ mediations of the natural world, they also mark a starting point when technology fundamentally altered human activity. Much later, deceptively simple innovations such as the redirection of water via trenches lead to more concrete changes in the way of agrarian society and the development of early culture.
Fast-forward a few years to the advent of the integrated circuit in 1958. This new innovation dramatically changed how humans engage socially and physically with the world around them. While stone tools represent the technological precipice our distant ancestors stood upon, integrated circuitry marks a similar vista for contemporary times. Of course collective learning is also responsible for such far-reaching and varied innovations such as irrigation, the development of language, and the foundations of culture as we know it. Similarly now, it has lead to increasingly smaller technologies which have opened the door to instantaneous communication and novel future possibilities.
As a whole, Integrated Circuit is a grouping of photographic and sculptural works, which look to technology to consider anew our relationship with the natural world. The objects in Integrated Circuit, acknowledge that while technology might mediate, and in many ways dictate, our understanding of the world we inhabit, it is not wholly discrete from it. Integrated Circuit views technological advancement as an evolutionary development, and as such, a development of nature itself. As an example, System (2016), literally links the two by way of a liquid cooled desktop computer, which re-circulates nutrient rich solution through a hydroponic garden. In System, computer components, which depend on the nutrient rich solution to cool them, bare no hierarchical advantage over the plants it shares an echo system with.
Work by: JUSTIN HODGES