Josh Kline’s works explore the uninterrupted and ever-evolving relationship between humans and digitalisation, both in their contents and in their materials. The artist uses 3D printing and scanning to reproduce replicas of human body parts, focusing literally and metaphorically on the existential, political and social human conditions of the digitalised era we inhabit.
A wooden tray stands adorned with greasy burgers and chips, wrapped in warning notices rapidly turning to a black and yellow mush. In an inversion of the usual order, two waiter’s arms are served on the tray. One of the pale hands holds a bottle opener which states “warning – avoid injury”: how ironic.
The statement of the bottle opener in this well-staged crime scene generates a thought-provoking parody which stresses the viewer’s attention on the politics of work and issues such as income inequality, rights, injuries, unemployment. The use of 3D printing to reproduce, or better, to replicate human bodies, calls the viewer to reflect on the ceaseless and, often conflicting, relationship between humans and digitalization, human jobs and autonomation, and the million replicas of ourselves we constantly created by uploading data.
By staging this unnerving, yet witty scene, where fragmented parts of workers’ bodies are placed within adverts or tools from different trades, Kline stresses the lack of public attention for labour politics. Like the arms of a waiter on a customer tray, workers’ welfare often feels invisible, falling out of politicians’ sights; unless, their damages hit somehow to their interests, so as the injured arms on this tray hit our sensitivity as this greying food would our stomachs.