Teaser for Ian Haig's video artwork Chronicles of the new human organism

Art Press Release from Australia. Published by Rebecca Gabrielle Cannon on Monday 11 April 2011.

I love the creepiness of this Video Art work by Australian artist Ian Haig. Chronicles of the new Human Organism is a 50 minute video with sound by PH2 (Philip Brophy and Philip Samartzis).

The work was created over 5 years, shot mostly on different locations in Australia, New Zealand, US, Japan, Thailand and Korea. It’s a patchwork of potent symbology that seems to tap right into some of our primordial fears. It kind of reminds me of the Ludovico Technique from A Clockwork Orange, with similarly disturbing thought reprogramming through Haig’s Mondo appropriation of psycho-analytic artefacts.

From the artist’s website:

“Imagine putting a video camera into the hands of a Death Valley outsider artist convinced that the mother ship is about to land at any minute, and that when it does a new phase of human evolution will begin. Chronicles of the new human organism is such a film.

Taking the form of the nature documentary exploring the strangeness of the world around us as a starting point – Chronicles of the new human organism takes the viewer on a journey through a range of ideas, systems of knowledge and questions relating to the origins of the human species, the significance of the reptilian mind, new forms of human sexuality, parasites, the communication with the dead, and alien evolutionary technology.

The work references and cannibalizes ideas derived from Al Fry, JG Ballard, Rudolf Steiner, WilhelmReich, The Heavens Gate cult, Carl Sagan and Oscar Kiss Maerth. Delivered with a portentous, yet strangely soothing voiceover, Chronicles of the new human organism re-interprets the history of visionary thinking about the human species through the po-faced filter of Erich Von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods and the shockumentary style of Mondo Cane.

One of the aims of Chronicles of the new human organism has been to make a work that defies categorization or another way of looking at the categorization of the human itself. It is a perverse and compelling hybrid of educational video, new age recruitment campaign and cult manifesto: the Mondo movie genre with a good dose of pseudo science.

The sound and music for the video was composed by PH2 (Philip Brophy and Philip Samartzis). Like the visuals, it draws on a range of references in its production from Jerry Goldsmith sci-fi scores such as Logan’s Run to pulsating electronic noise from Forbidden Planet and textural location field recordings of some of the weirdest places on the planet". – Darren Tofts

Topics covered: Haunted media, cannibalism, alien technlogy, experimental surgery, the reptillian brain, new sexual organs, sexual and post sexual, power of the human orgasm, Alan Turing’s hormone therapy, communication with the dead, the transformation of the human body, human evolution, Mayan computer system, body detoxification, global warming, parasites, the nature of time and space, obsolete human organs, martian communication, meat, human sacrifice, dreams, human consciousness, the brain, insects, human biology, electricity, volcanic lava

Ian Haig is a media artist, based in Melbourne, Australia. His work explores the strangeness of everyday reality and focuses on the themes of the human body, devolution, mutation, transformation and psychopathology, often through the lens of low cultural forms.

Ian Haig on Artabase