any decent photoshopper can trick a non-digital native into believing something fake is real. in niko photographisme’s photo series, ‘the robot next door,’ the opposite has been achieved. the magic in these photographs is that they look like CGI; they look fake. they’re not. 

robot next door
all images courtesy of niko photographisme

 

 

these obviously aren’t ‘real’ cyborgs. the images were retouched. we’re so used to seeing CGI fantasy rigamarole that, at first glance, these electronic parts feel numbingly computerized. fake.

robot next door

 

 

the truth is, these eye-bending severed limbs are the result of practical effects — tangible pieces that were built and photographed ‘IRL’ by hand, by the artist, niko photographismeused to: things that weren’t real were magic, but now, things that are real have never felt more magic.

robot next door

 

 

niko’s decision to make this series ‘the old fashion way’ raises many interesting contradictions about humanity in the digital age. we’ve all developed roles, masks and appearances to live by. digital identities. ‘IRL’ identities. it’s easy to tell what is real and what is photoshopped. it’s easy to fool someone into thinking something fake is real. it’s much trickier defining what real is.

robot next door

robot next door

robot next door

robot next door

robot next door

robot next door

robot next door

robot next door

robot next door

robot next door

robot next door

robot next door

robot next door

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