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John Rainey's surreal sculptures push the boundaries of reality and simulation

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Our selves have always been mutable, but technological progress throws the question of who we "really are" into sharp relief. John Rainey's "Hyper Activity: Scenes from an Other Reality," showcased at Designboom, plays into both anxiety and fetishization of our strange, cyborg future. The installation's figures start as photographs, which are then distorted into eerie virtual models and prototyped with a 3D printer before being cast in porcelain. Referred to as "sculptural hyperbodies and prosthetic others," some evoke human figures stuck in some endless process of transformation, while others are perfectly formed parts of bodies that seem almost more out of place in the surreal landscape.

A description of the exhibit, which is currently showing at London's Marsden Woo Gallery, suggests that they comment on "our increasing inability to differentiate between reality and its simulations." But the sculptures can also be read through a different lens: we're perfectly capable of discerning between different degrees of reality, and we're coming to accept synthetic spaces and things as being their own curious distillation of it.