Case Study Z.I.P. (Zoom in Paintings): Test Subject #167
Time: Test Subject’s Entry (2/11/2150)
Got to the Lab earlier than anyone else, eager to start the new experiment. I like having a moment alone with my microscope – to polish and prepare it. Its touch feels almost like a second skin now – I love its sleek, curved, steady arc between my fingers, to turn its coarse and fine focuses and hear the delicious clicks one after the other, to feed its clear glass tongue with various droplets of information. It’s a very intimate, almost transcendent space that we share – me and this machine, solving the big mysteries of our kind as one, finding the One True New Form. Often, I feel like it understands me more than my peers here, or anyone has ever had. Its cold, precise body calms me down, promising results. It makes me feel safe and powerful. This could be how man must’ve felt when Prometheus first gave them Fire.
Spent the last couple of hours picking and trying out the different heads but it’s just not working. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. The head prototypes were generated based on our last lab report that clearly prescribed the New Form’s facial structure. For the past more than 1000 years we have been doing this research, collecting data on ideal forms from every century: Venuses of Willendorf and Velasquez, Egyptian carvings, Michelangelo’s David, the ladies of Török János and Zsolnay, Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, Picasso’s Mademoiselle D’Avignon, Monroe, Kardashian, feeding it into our A.I system to create the New Perfect Form out of the repurposed old ideals. We have looked at every organic form ever created by Man and Nature, every little pixel of symmetry. So why can’t we do what Nature did? What are we missing?
I can’t focus on work anymore and keep walking up and down the Lab. Am I the only one here who sees that we aren’t going anywhere with all this work? What even is the New Form? All this data that we have gathered and analysed from all these different sources throughout the ages – isn’t it all arbitrary and subjective? Who are we to say what the New Face or New Body or New Mind should be? And why haven’t we interacted with Nature itself, just data, for over 1000 years? I tried to talk to my colleague P. about it but they just spoke to me as if I was a child or a madman. I asked them if they remembered mountains or the sky – they just stared at me, told me to write a journal entry about how I was feeling, and then went back to their goddamn microscope.
I’m going to try to sleep. Things needs to change tomorrow… somebody has to ask questions. Sometimes I think They’re just laughing at us. Sometimes, I wonder if our goal, the New Form, even exists – whether they just keep us at this god-forsaken lab because we are the ones being experimented on. I’m saying all this out loud to the moth prototype, or the Falcon as I call it, that I made a couple of months ago…lately, it’s the only thing I’ve been talking to really. There is something comforting about this little flying machine, encircling the light every evening, over and over again, with new hope, new purpose every time. I wonder how it remember that’s what it’s supposed to do…