The pieces feature robots, drones, and self-portraits developed during Jess Coldrey’s Art-Tech Residency as the inaugural artist in residence at Yarra Ranges Tech School.
Coldrey’s work playfully shares the perspective of social determinist Leila Green, who argues that society ultimately shapes technology rather than vice versa. Green believes our fears, ecstasies, and mythologies about technology disconnect us, creating a dissonance between the present and the past’s future. Coldrey’s Retro Futurism series represents this sentiment through the absurd fusion of 60’s space-age futurism with emotionally-loaded modern machines.
Coldrey’s photography and video works serve as snapshot experiments into connection; a woman taking her drone for a walk, a robotic arm applying her lipstick for her as she stares into the distance contemplating her day, or gifting her a bouquet of flowers bringing an electric smile to her face. These unexpected interactions may prompt viewers to reflect on the strangeness of our fears and elations about technology in the present, revealing the absurdities of connection in the ever-loaded predictions of our future relationships with machines.