"Conductivity" is a series of digital paintings by the artist over 2020/2021 using an Apple iPad Pro and Pencil. The idea of a touch screen, which bridges the divide between warm human flesh and digital data, feels appropriate in the context of a global pandemic, the ongoing anxiety over physical touch, and the increasingly digital nature of human interactions. Despite their digital origin, these works were made by a thinking, feeling human, and by printing these works, the artist brings them back into the physical world, allowing the viewer an embodied experience of their form. Each of the works is a semi-automatic expression of vague, unnameable emotions and anxiety, caused by prolonged social isolation and broader fears over the fate of the human species and the planet. And yet, beneath this lies a hope that the increasingly sophisticated interface between the physical and digital worlds offers transcendence beyond these issues in the distant future.
Born on Dharug land (western Sydney) and based in Naarm (Melbourne), Phil Soliman is an Egyptian-Australian multidisciplinary artist, designer and educator working across video, photography, digital media, installation and performance. He has travelled extensively and exhibited in Australia and New Zealand. He holds a Masters of Fine Arts from RMIT University, and currently teaches photography and digital design at RMIT and Latrobe College of Art and Design.