Considering the direction David Cronenberg's films have taken lately – dark, moody epics revolving around excellent character acting by a dark, moody Viggo Mortensen – it's always nice to see someone step up to fill the surreal-body-horror niche Cronenberg left behind in his ever-evolving career as a filmmaker. Don't get me wrong, an artist needs to evolve and that evolution will, occasionally, force them to pick up a new instrument while doing variations on the same theme. However, I'm glad someone is there to pick up where Cronenberg left off. And not just pick up, but wholly transcend the medium of fiction.
27-year-old Japanese installation artist I-zawa Mio has plucked Cronenberg's visions of animated mounds of flesh from the screen and plunked them at our feet. Here is, for instance, an iPhone charger that is more than obviously influenced by the game pods in eXistenZ:
The umbilical cord, the inhuman squeaking and frog-leg motions are all there. Plugged into an iPhone, it takes a ubiquitous device and makes it strange. It's plugged in, but why does it look like it's sucking something out? Our relationship with the device and the power supplied to it is completely turned around.
Another project, mechanical tumor is plugged into an open PC case. It grows and shrinks based on the amount of load the processor is undergoing – a figure usually represented by a simply line graph to anyone who cares about this sort of thing. The open case, an environment of wonder and dread for those who do not know their way around a computer's innards, is merged with the disabling horror of an amateur facing an open human body. Mio strips the triteness away from the “we are our machines” meme, converting it from a futurist's fantasy into a double-nightmare where we must simultaneously face our fear of the evolving incomprehensibility of powerful computers and the failures of our own bodies.