THE STORY BEHIND #006 SOUL FRAGMENT (Link to animated GIF)
“A Battlemaster is skilled in the arts of weaponry and physical combat. An Artifician brings unparalleled exactitude to an already brutal path of life…”
Arkayana’s 6th piece in THE ATOMIC BALLROOM collection, Soul Fragment, takes inspiration from programming, complex emotive states, and the amazing anime, Ghost in the Shell
This piece began with a strange intention – To put across the emotive state of feeling fragmented, something felt by many suffering with conditions, or questioning their identity. Exploring a number of color palettes and designs, inspiration sprung forth from the very lore of The Atomic Ballroom itself, a place where the non-corporeal and physical worlds meet! In this realm, souls integrate with a digital universe, but sometimes during integration things get corrupted. This idea brought out Soul Fragment, exposing the swirling energy ‘core’ of the piece, or perhaps something more?
Setting out to find more inspiration, the morally clouded world of Ghost in the Shell came to mind. A world where programming, cyberspace, and reality all intertwine in often confusing and frightening ways. At what point do we lose our humanity through cyberisation? THAT is the key question of this piece.
This idea made the choice of race for this piece clear – Artifician, leaving a decision on the class.
“As I thought deeply about how this soul would feel, being pulled apart and retrofitted into an Artifician body, absorbed by a digital understandiing of life, everything is turned upside down once more, as the upload into The Atomic Ballroom fragments, exposing the ‘core’ of the unit, and leaving memories of a past, biological life. As I developed the art, I could feel the frustration such a being would feel from corrupted programming and the similarities I could draw to a biological creature in terms of existence, wellbeing, mental health, identity, gender, and sexuality. How would and artificial being react to feeling ‘out of sync’ with themselves? Filled with determination, rage, confusion, fear, the class choice felt clear to me – the first Artifician Battlemaster debuts in The Atomic Ballroom. A synthetic maruader, with its fragile core exposed, will fight for all it’s worth to protect itself.
This idea brings morally confusing topics of computerization, artificial intelligence and identity, and the ultimate question to be asked by a digital being in any world:
“Does this unit have a soul?”
The next lore drop will be on #007 ANCESTRA
Everyone have a lovely week <3