[dropcap style=”font-size:100px;color:#992211;”]N[/dropcap]estor Pestana identifies as a ‘speculative designer’ his ‘projects’ he states, are expressed in a number of ways which combine film, animation and musings on science and modern life. Through his lens we see the nightmare of a homogenised, normalised culture safe to the point of numbness.
“Standards are of great precision in today’s world and we accept them in all aspects of life. Mechanical appliances, tools, building material, are all increasingly made to standards, to be alike, each category homogeneous, its members interchangeable. It is actually very hard to imagine a time when almost nothing was standardized. Humans had also to apply standards to themselves in order to belong to the system that they have created. Hereafter, standardization can be interpreted to mean homogenization of human beings, as of mechanical parts. Companies, for instance, have their own systems in which employees are submitted to fit certain standards,” Nestor Pestana, http://nestorpestana.co.uk
The quote above refers to a work called, ‘The Interviewee’ a short video piece which worries away at the modern worlds obsession with banal rules, corporate culture and the growing trend of standardisation. The aesthetic is clean and clearly satirical recalling the famous video ‘The Perfect Human’ (Click to watch) by Jurgan Leth.
This is mixed with the interview scenes from ‘Blade Runner’ and given a cool modern Bauhaus reference as the interviewee (a young woman) is treated like a photo-copier being given a tune up and checked for bugs. Its depressing but wry and distanced, the feeling is not one of abject suffering but of acquiescence to a lame and unconvincing set of modern ethics. We should think about that, is it really how we want our time to be remembered?
This feeling of intelligent detachment is perhaps a little dated now having been the persona of choice during the 80s 90s and early 2000s but perhaps also this is a defensive measure in an increasingly banal and draining world. Its clear that this work is clever, full of references to theory and courting or challenging the sciences in equal measure.
This gives the designer the feeling of a theorist or philosopher and his works appear like thought experiments or mini scientific demonstrations, greater emotional vulnerability from the artist might make this more engaging but overall there is a lot of positive to take from the practice, and a sense of anticipation that he is on the cusp of something great.
Natalie Andrews is an artist working with a range of mediums, she has shown her work at the Hoxton Arches in London and is currently working on a number of 3d works alongside painting exploring the links between painting and sculpture;
“I am interested in the way that we relate to one another and with space, how the environments we inhabit structure and dictate these relationships and create both opportunities for emancipation but also the deep alienation and separateness.”