TECHimæra was the name given to my thesis submitted to the NABA examination board in January 2010. The dissertation focused on the complex relationship between Human Being and Technology and the way Art began to approach delicate issues such as those concerning Technoethics and Transhumanism through the controversial Bioart movement. However, due to lack of time, I didn't manage to provide a cover that I could consider suitable for the title of the book. That missed cover secretly tormented me over the years with fleeting ideas and postponed resolutions, as if this project had still an unresolved appointment with me. This until, one morning of 10 years later, I found myself sketching obsessively on the tablet...
Soon after, the project moved onto the modeling phase. Despite the richness of the details of the mechanical components, the real challenge resided in the organic components (such the skulls adorning the creature), which required several hours studing the 3 beasts's bones. Given the needing to give a specific meaning to the artwork, it was necessary a certain flexibility from the model to determine its pose. With the rigging completed, a scene was therefore modelled ad hoc for both the model and its symbolism. Following the UVWrapping, the various textures were painted on the model manually in order to give a more worn out look. Finally the whole scene was rendered on Octane, where the various shaders were assigned and the lights placed.
The artwork eventually has been called "Techne" and few filters have been applied to it in order to give the feeling of an oil painting.
Visually, Techne pays tribute to the European painting art of the XVII and XVIII century, finding particular inspiration in the Dutch Golden Age's still lifes. In fact the scene recalls the austere atmosphere surrounding those artworks: a typical 1600's living room furnished with decorations arranged in a dark corner. The composition gets devastated by the disruptive intrusion of a disturbing creature, overturning and destroing everything along its path.
The creature represented is a Chimera shaped robot. The greek mythology describes the Chimera as a monstrous fire-breathing hybrid creature depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat protruding from its back, and a tail ending with a snake's head. The myth tells of how Bellerophon, the well-known slayer of monsters hero riding the pegasus, managed to defeat the mythological beast by turning its ferocity against itself, internally burnt by the hero's lump of lead (mounted on the spear) melted when exposed to the Chimera's fiery breath.
Due to its ferocious nature and its gruesome hybrid aspect, the Chimera has acquired many connotations, enough to be considered in psychology as the archetype of the Impossible and the Unconscious. Being represented in this work as a mechanical figure, the robotic chimera (nicknamed as TECHimaera) combines three meanings, exactly like its body combines three heads: the Myth, the Unconscious and the Technique. All three in the their destructive form.
The Chimera therefore, expressed in this scene through an anachronistic technological shape, is a metaphor of the human restlessness. On one hand, the Technique and the Myth come to life in the beast resurrected by the collective imagination, making real something that was previously only imagined. On the other hand, in the very moment the impossible creature has become reality through the tecnology, both the Technique and the Myth lose their original meanings.
Concept, Modelling, Rigging, Animation, Materials, Lighting, Rendering