2D Life

I think of these images as 2D organisms, 2D life in the world. The pictures are representations of a fictional pre-production of living, autonomous, AI cartoons. As fantasy concept, they are not living cartoons. However I understand my process as being rooted in this fiction, and consider these images to be important to world building. They are like a manifesto. Or they are the representation of an origin myth in real-time (ancestral cartoons), which is why I say they are pre-production. The “pre-production” concept is a thing in itself. It does not mean that they are unfinished artworks. Pre-production is a state that is articulated, rendered, and occupied for these pictures. It implies that they are part of an implication of things to come, which is living cartoons. I have made hundreds of these pictures and have come to understand them as key frames in an animation that doesn’t exist, or need to exist.

What if cartoons could change? If they experienced continuous space time, and had a life? Bart Simpson would want to change his clothes. And then what would they become? Maybe machine learning and neural networks will work out. If we need a huge quantity of data, look to The Simpsons (1989, over 600 episodes at writing). Watch them come alive, and change?

2D life is not only about the culture and art of cartoons, manga, or anime. It is meant to distinguish a concept or dimensions pure in their fantasy or virtuality. 2D life can encompass the varied parameters of video games and simulations, 3D CGI, models and figurines, merchandise, conventions, theme cafes, VR, and Idols, in addition to the familiar manga/comics, and anime. In part, it is deeply internalized consumerism, but it is not only a top down structure. Fandom plays a huge role in the creative output of the culture. Look to Comiket and Dōjinshi, generating a huge market outside of the manga industry. 

2D life is fiction. We cannot live with-out fiction. 2D life is cherished, in particular, because it is not the real world, and it will never be real. The process of thoroughly actualizing it would result in something else entirely. 2D life is derivative of a global culture. One of which I do not speak for, as it is a living, shifting culture anyway, and a complicated one.

In this case I am creator initiating something born of this. Beginning on the shoulders of 2D culture or pure 2D life, this is a mutation. Some humans may choose to become cartoons, and some cartoons may become human. Life in lines—

Andrés Laracuente, 2019