We’re More Than the Sum of Our Pixels

As with other recent works We’re More Than The Sum Of Our Pixels examine our relationships with the internet and the boundaries between the digital and physical worlds.

We’re More Than The Sum Of Our Pixels uses the internet as a source from which to reflect on death and identity within our digitally interconnected society. The photographs upon which these works are based are pictures of people who have been reported to have died. They have been sourced from the public domain; web pages, blogs, and social media channels, which act as digital shrines to the individual.

Death provides a chance for us to pause and reflect, and an untimely death offers an opportunity for the media to play a significant role in a memorialising process that reassesses the life of the individual by highlighting features that have contributed to the construction of their image over time.

The internet offers a space in which death is particularly visible, though more often than not it is depersonalised as death threatens our identity; the abject body loses its form and integrity… it disturbs identity, system, order. Individuals who are reported to have died are ’embalmed’ by the media through text and image in an attempt to restore recognisable individual characteristics and mask over any abject connotations. The reality of the dead body remains invisible.

We’re More Than The Sum Of Our Pixels challenges this ’embalming’ process that displaces the authentic face of death in favour of a recognisable visage that assumes characteristics of the immortal. Is death beyond the limits of coding and culture?

Read more on Technological Taxidermy in this paper by Cath Davies (2010)