Digital Icon: A Portrait Of The New Evolution

Comparable to the pace of technological advancement is that of human evolution. Both have accelerated at an unprecedented rate in the last few decades.

Increasingly reliant on technology, the human mind now interacts with technology as an extension of the brain rather than using it as an external tool. This shift in human functioning has also transformed our psychology, leaving the main characteristics of Homo Sapiens behind and entering the next phase in our evolution, Homo Cyberneticus.

Charles DarwinMany are still unaware that Darwinian evolutionary paradigm has now officially ceased to apply to our species, yet the next stage is already upon us. That is the stage at which technology is inserted within the body. It is coined Homo Roboticus. Moore's Law predicted the exponential speed at which the size of microchips would decrease. It is now a reality that minute microchips are inserted within the body to maximize human functioning. Nanotechnology already improves the lives of people with disabilities or serious injuries.

Now is the critical time when, as a species, our evolution falls into our own hands."

As evolution shifts away from nature's control and becomes increasingly bound to the influence of technology, an unprecedented sense of responsibility emerges. Now is the critical time when, as a species, our evolution falls into our own hands. And as the dominant species, life on Earth is dependent on human activity. No longer can we passively expect nature or otherworldly forces to ensure our survival. This is when the human species reaches adulthood, becoming fully conscious in a process of collective self-realization.

Digital Icon by Sonia Ben Achoura

Digital Icon by Sonia Ben Achoura

Digital Icon is a portrait, yet is abstract enough to represent any human living in this exciting, yet uncertain time. A blueprint of the new Human, with a scientific mind, taking evolution in its own hands. It reflects our rich and complex experience as we shift away from nature's cyclical and predictable patterns, towards an increasingly technological world that yields both promises of swift solutions and impending disasters.

Digital Icon faces the future in a novel context, a pixelated universe. Pixels that radiate outwards, merging seamlessly with its environment. A being that exudes both power and wisdom as it pushes the boundaries of its cognitive ability, armed with scientific prowess. Cataclysmic threats are confronted with a direct, determined gaze. This being explores the nature of it's existence as it faces it's greatest challenges yet.

Digital Iconography series:

This painting is one in a series. Imagery that emerges from new psyches, at a time when several stages of human evolution overlap. A secular iconography based on a common logico-rational language and egalitarian values focused on the future rather than the past, Digital Iconography encompasses a vision for a world beyond dogma, where freedom of expression unites all people towards a deeper appreciation of our own intrinsic sacredness, hence clarifying our place in the world amongst all other manifestations of life.

See more work in the Digital Iconography series. Sonia Ben Achoura is also on LinkedIn, and you can see a video of her work on YouTube.

Sonia Ben Achoura

  Artist and psychologist Sonia Ben Achoura translates her academic explorations of mind and body into powerful visual language--artwork that conveys psychological concepts and phenomena, hence a scientific dimension. Historic and cutting-edge research findings are conceptualized in her creations, covering meditation, dreams, human interaction with technology, consciousness, well-being and evolution.

You may also like...

5 Responses

  1. Lilith Ohan says:

    This post saddens me. The images shown are representation of the natural shapes and forms, even if they are produced with the computer. That is true, we use more computers and we use them as tools for everything, including for our creativity…. as we are more intelligent or dependent? We cannot escape from our nature…Yes, indeed, if we separate ourselves from the Natural, we will be heading towards disaster.

  2. oldswimmer says:

    I had the same response as Lillith’s. When the creation begins to think it can do a “better job” it is the Peter Principal moment! Pride was always the precursor of downfall. Evolution shows this. The overconfident creature is one of the first to die. The ill die, and those unable to cope die. The losers in one on one battles die. Extinction happens when the environment stops supporting life. And nothing will protect the computer-entity that pretends to have the soul of a human being. If the dinosaur had invented the car it would still have died out.

    Very scary.

  3. MTMcClanahan says:

    But there is hope in Sonia’s post–see my recent “Artistic Freedom : Sonia Ben Achoura’s Sacred Man. If we don’t forget the message.

  4. My painting Digital Icon is conceptual. It is NOT computer generated but an oil painting. I understand that many contemporary artists avoid perfection at all cost. I don’t. I embrace both the perfect and imperfect in human nature. Both fulfill their own function.
    Similarly, if our species developed sufficient self awareness, evolution could move in a positive direction and converge with nature. Technology has already proven to be a powerful ally in this process.
    In addition, art and creativity are as important as ever to discover and understand the sacred within.
    I hope this will clarify the misinterpretation. My art does not promote computers but the development of human potential at this day and age towards the survival of or species as well as our planet.

    • I think it is a natural, and understandable, human reaction to think negatively towards our increasing dependence on technology–it’s as though we are giving away personal freedom in the name of convenience or safety. And of course we have seen what evil can do with technology.

      Personally I do feel a sense of dread about it all–a feeling that control of my life is being taken away, or that I have no control over what is happening. Couple that with the politically favorable view by an increasing lot that man’s rights come from man, and are therefore not “inalienable”, it is cause for concern.

      Maybe “hope” is our greatest emotional weapon against it all–good does seem to always win out, even if there is much bad to endure to get there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *