Drawing on a range of sources from digital media to everyday and popular culture, Vancouver-based artist Michael Edward Miller’s work is concerned with exploring and critiquing the ways in which postmodern technologies impact and shape new kinds of human subjects. His exhibitions The Nintendo Generation and Punch Out! investigated the psychological and optical cues inherent to gaming technologies. For the gamer, the relationship with the real biological living being in a natural world is (re-)translated into the abstract aesthetic language of virtual reality. Miller takes the aesthetics and logics of animated computer-era action figures and gives them a materiality through his life-size paintings. His re-(re-)translation makes the simulation complete. The painted portraits have no referent outside the virtual, and the images become more real than the real as viewers respond emotionally and physically to familiar characters in a kind of hyper-reality in which simulation affect their attachment to intelligent life.
Miller’s fourth solo-exhibition ‘BSoD’ continues to explore the effects that computerization and communication technologies have on concepts of the self as a global experience. Miller claims “the angst and fear generated by Microsoft’s Blue Screen of Death acts as a paradigm for symptoms of the ‘postmodern condition’.” Michael Edward Miller’s ‘BSoD’ opens up our thinking to include new ways of being human subjects and new ways of thinking about the integrations of technologies into bodies that has consequences of how the relationship of the body and identity are integrated in complex ways.