Agusta YR’s Surrealist Digital Worlds
Since it’s inception, 3D technology has inspired designers and artists alike to reimagine the world we live in through the surrealist lens of the digital, and no other artist manipulates the interplay between the physical world and the digital realm quite like Agusta YR. An Icelandic-born and Miami-raised digital artist, who you might recognize as @iceicebabyspice on Instagram, Yr’s work coalesces digital aesthetics in ways that are unnerving and sublime.
Much of the artist’s work consists of 3D scanned objects, placing their renderings in uncanny and surreal environments. In a short film for London designer, Yang Li’s Paris Fashion Week show, models move in a 360-degree space reverberating in front of “acid trip” projections; their skin glossy, their movements stuttered and laden with digital artifacts.
Recently, model representative No Agency tapped the artist on a series of photo stills and short videos, which see its models rendered as 3D versions of themselves. to showcase their AW20 show package.
Set in a surrealist dreamscape, the package features models including American journalist Amy Fine Collins, Giannina Antonette Oteto, and Yr herself scanned and re-appropriated into their three-dimensional digital likeness. The project is the brainchild of Alex Tsebelis, No Agency’s co-founder, alongside styling by Coco Campbell and 1Granary Showroom, where models are rendered in an array of looks, including a colourful body mould by Sinéad O’Dwyer, an intricate lace knit by Marvin Desroc, and signature wet look pieces by Di Petsa.
Elsewhere the artist’s own personal work is even more unnerving and surreal. In her films, digitally rendered bodies and faces are warped and hypersexualized, positioned within surrealist digital landscapes that are at times absurd and disjunctive. Still-life animation sees her characters and settings oscillate between comically amateurish Microsoft-paint art and the glossy three-dimension creations of her fashion work.
Is it any wonder that the fashion world is tapping the artist’s dystopic and uncanny lens? YR’s oeuvre seems to caricaturize and fetishize a certain absurdism that is engendered between the transference of corporeal realities and their digital likeness. In doing so, YR’s work reveals the constructed nature of digital realities, relishing in the interplay between their seamlessness and their artifice.
In the age of self-isolation and quarantine amidst COVID-19, YR’s work feels especially relevant and even poignant. As digital technology becomes even more entrenched in how we communicate, the chasm between the digital and reality closes even further; don’t we all feel a bit like one of her spinning heads?
Cody Rooney is a Glossi mag contributor.
He is a photography aficionado, masters candidate, fashion enthusiast, avid Ariana Grande fan and lover of all things aesthetically pleasing.