Morphological freedom is the engine behind Carlos Saez’s digital collage series, Human Appearance Optional. Inspired by the post-humanist idea that the choice to alter or modify a body through the use of medical technology should be considered a civil right, Carlos has sourced a series of body-related imagery in order to create an anatomical mosaic using the technologies available to him.
Carlos works across a number of media; whether it’s sculpture, video or digital, the Valencia-based creative deploys his technical skills to touch on timely topics through his artworks. “I’ve always felt most comfortable expressing myself with gestures and visual language than with words,” Carlos tells us. “I turned this into an advantage and a profession when I moved to Madrid to study art. There, I met most of my current friends, lots of other artists and discovered a creative environment that I’ll be always thankful for.”
With Human Appearance Optional, Carlos aims to transform gestures, physical attributes and anatomical body parts into expressive and abstract digital landscapes. Carlos started off by collecting a series of images from the internet, removing them from their context, and turning them into fluid, non-specific forms. “Then I printed these images out and created a large-scale collage, mixing the visuals with materials like silicone, foam, paint and corrosives,” Carlos says. “All the images are actually parts of a big, physical collage.” After photographing “the most interesting parts”, the artist turned back to Photoshop to remould and retouch the artworks, before bringing them back into the physical world again. This back-and-forth went on for some time because “crossing the barrier between the real and the digital” is particularly significant for Carlos.
When asked what stood out to Carlos as he was making the collages, he says: “I guess the joy of variety and the beauty of the undefined. But I wouldn’t say this is something I was looking for, it just happened developing the concept. My main focus was on responding to the range of possibilities that opens up when creating a digital identity.” In abstracting the body’s make up, Carlos offers the viewer an alternative perspective of the human form, what it looks like and its arrangement and, by extension, imagines a range of new possible means of personal expression.