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Merlin Carter

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About

My practice is focused on so called "physical culture" and how it has evolved over the last two centuries. Contained within this project is an interest in spaces and technologies of work and how they have evolved over the last couple of centuries. Specifically, hwo workplaces have changed from hosting actives bodies engaged in physical labour to dockingstations for sedentary bodies. Bodies that instead become sites of intense cognitive labor. Bodies and minds that become extended through the“prostheses” of hardware and software. Linked to this thread is an interest incontemporary symptom of “disembodiment”. Within this frame, I examine the phenomenological experience of having abody and how we processes input from its sensory portals. In particular, I’m fascinated by the question of how this experience might differ from the experience of our ancestors. Equally intriguing is a type of contemporary nostalgia for“nature” and “the natural way” that is reflected in today’s physical culture. It is a nostalgia which the sports industry actively exploits and I investigate the visual language that they use to do this. My work uncovers tries to depict physical culture as reaction to disembodiment but also as a coping strategy for the spiritual vacuum left by passive atheism and materialism.