The name of the project Homunculus derives its name from an alchemically made creature that looks like a miniature of its creator. There are several recipes for making a homunculus, but they all commonly call for the use of the creator’s ejaculate as part of a potion in which the homunculus is grown. After the creature is a fully formed homunculus, “...he comes out and puts himself at your service. And they never die. Imagine: they’ll even put flowers on your grave after you’re dead!” (Foucault’s Pendulum, p. 248, Eco 1989).

left: A tiny person inside a sperm, as drawn by Nicolaas Hartsoeker in 1695. center:19th century engraving of Homunculus from Goethe's Faust part II. right: two homunculi in a vile. source: Wikimedia Commons

Conceptually, we form similar connections with our own technological creations as the alchemist did with the homunculus. A product of our culture, technology, in turn, shapes our culture, our minds, and our bodies, having a lasting impact on the organization and manipulation of our World. As we pass on the technology remains, it holds our thoughts and extends our impact beyond the grave to future generations.

Theodore Kerckring’s drawings of the “little man inside the egg.” Images taken from Kerckring, Theodor. Anthropogeniae ichnographia. Frisius, 1717.

 The inspiration of the work is to explore the emotive connections we form with the technological objects we make. I believe we form these connections because the technology we make is part of our ideas, our culture, and our bodies. But as we pass on the technology remains, it holds our thoughts, and the shape we give to it is deeply connected to the way we perceive the world. Technology is often seen as a disruption, or something alien, when it is actually something that emerges from us and is more of us, part of us, than we are willing to accept. While we resist technology and the change it brings, we are actually resisting ourselves. Technology may be disrupting our lives, but we are the driving force behind that technology creating a paradoxical cycle between disruption, resistance, change, and becoming.