My work is primarily three dimensional, sometimes including installations, audience engagement, or performers. My materials range from the semi-precious to the abject. I am interested in the inexorable and the inevitable—the persistence of experience and concomitant ideas and imagery across time. In spite of our love of technology, I believe the basic character of our collective experience remains essentially unchanged. Our dominant culture is dedicated to progress, rejecting the deep universal truths that shape human experience. We are surrounded by representations of these verities in the stories we tell and images we create. They form a massive bank of knowledge that includes myth, religion, history, philosophy, and psychology. We are drawn to them; they entertain us; but we consistently choose to ignore their value, because we must do what we feel rather than what we know.
I began the Reanimation Project while contemplating an end-of-days scenario initiated by the displacement of the human by artificial intelligence. Unfortunately, the end of times arrived more precipitously and through different vectors. Besides sculptures of bone, ceramic, and other materials, I am working on narrowly automated forms to represent the rise of AI, which will surely accelerate as we move more of our lives online. Human interaction with automation may also increase if we continue to pose a danger to each other's health. AI is being programmed by scanning social media. Experts have noted that human prejudices are ingrained in this programming. My representation of robotic forms is shaped by my anxiety over this realization. Though algorithms may solve vast technical problems better and more rapidly, it appears the solutions to flesh and blood problems will remain chained to human failings.
Celia Eberle, 2021