Starting Friday, February 18, and running through April 17, the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is hosting Lucy McRae’s first solo show, a dystopian exhibition titled FUTUREKIN: Mental Health Machines for a Post-CRISPR World. McRae, who was born in the U.K. and raised in Australia, is a “science fiction artist and body architect” and FUTUREKIN envisions technologies and methods designed to deliver comfort to those who “…are brought to term and grown in complex, sensitive wombs in a lab.”
Imagined through a series of installations, including videos and three non-interactive Mental Health Machine sculptures, the show seeks to create a sense of human touch and care in a future world even more thoroughly dominated by technology than our own, and it does so in the context of sports.
“FUTUREKIN is presented within a sports court scenario,” McRae told AN. “As I’ve long compared the creative process with elite sports; warm-up, cool down, compete, injury, rest, AND the forever tussle with the mind. I’m drawn to unlikely combinations, complex science through the lens of sport, makes it more reachable/understood, and (hopefully) widens the debate as this tech will affect everybody, especially future gens.” The three Mental Health Machine sculptures play a big part in this sporty scenario; they are meant to portray human touch by “…sandwiching the body between layers of thick, sponge-like materials, these machines are designed to build trust and connection, re-enforcing the protective embrace of a parent, gone lost, by virtue of lab-grown origins.”
Similar to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, McRae believes future societal norms will be engulfed by technology devoid of any sense of organic human physical interaction or warmth. To prevent such a future from unfolding, McRae’s work delves into material research to develop speculative solutions that transform the heartless aspects of technology into something much more loving, caring, and kind.