"Digital Self" by Adonai Sebhatu

on view at DIFC Sculpture Park

Digital Self by Adonai Sebhatu reflects on the constant and ever-faster technological development of our era, which is leading us to build a new, infinite, and all-digital world that is emancipating us from nature. This raises the question of what we should keep human and what we should digitize.


The work is inspired by looking at an electrical diagram through the eyes of a child, which led to a process of abstraction in which a motherboard is stripped from its complex computer core task and transformed into a simple base or plan of an architectural space. This idea has been translated into an installation that explores what we are becoming and the direction we are taking our lives and environment.


The backbone of this work is the use of recycled electronic materials for their relevance and the artist's almost obsessive interest. The goal is not just to save the object but also to decontextualize it and give it the right position. By assembling hardware, transistors, resistors, regulators, and various electronic components, places, suburbs, and homes are created where we carry out our daily lives.


The installation depicts an archetype of human bodies navigating through a space that seems virtual but also takes on an industrial, analogue appearance upon closer examination. These places are formed from the most significant residuals of electronic society, assembled within a new contour, resembling a mosaic chiseling. The material disappears under the semblance of a quiet, posed image, or it highlights its own material in the plasticity of urban architecture, of cities evacuated by time.


A dialogue is established between the macro represented by the human figure and the micro represented by the sum of electronic components that create a plan leading the human mind back to the places of everyday life, the home, the workplace, and all the places where we have the possibility to live our experiences and preserve our memories.


The installation also presents a series of bodies that symbolize watching over everything and everyone in a new space, halfway between analogue and virtual. As the central bearer and guardian of life, this installation watches, observes, and studies the fruit of its creation.

March 24, 2023