There always seems to be a need for people to march to the beat of a big big drum. And the same people that march to it, beat there own little drums in sync with the big drum. It is a never ending struggle. It’s the fight against predetermined, machined, programmed, and manufactured blueprint of a “son”, “student”, “teenager”, “adult”, “father”, an “artist”. I do not use the words “machined”, “manufactured”, “predetermined”, and “programmed” lightly, for they are the nature of what robots are. They are expected to function in a predetermined way. They are a product of their maker. People are no exception.
Robots are machines trying to be humans. Machines trying to become flesh and soul. The inorganic trying to become organic. The manufactured and designed trying to become spontaneous and unpredictable. Conversely, the embodiment of people becoming their technology.
Machines, computers, robots don’t think, they obey. They are an ideal model to symbolize our current and future relationship with technology, and ourselves. Ultimately it can be the other way around. Humans trying to be robots. Humans striving to be a part of a whole and thus becoming one collective thought.
We are slaves to our technology. Computers, email, our life.com, iPods, S.S. numbers, digital identities, online nicknames, navigation systems, cellphones, etc. Without it, we are nothing. With it, it is all we are. The robot is a machined human. A human that has been so enveloped in its technology that it has mutated into it. It has become the object of its own obsession. In the photographs, the robots display a varying range of distinct human emotions. They convey human struggle. The robots are trapped inside a metallic shell, desperately trying to escape the confines of a digital existence. We (people) are drifting into a digital existence, until eventually (and hopefully) we’ll claw our way out back into an analogous existence. The robot metaphor functions in a literal sense, and a figurative sense. Literal, through us becoming our technology. Figurative, through humankind becoming sedated into one collective machine of mass produced thought.
Santiago brings an interesting set of aesthetics to his work. He has navigated in and out of two cultures throughout his life. Born in Philadelphia and then moving back and forth between the United States and his native country of Colombia, eventually staying in Colombia for the next 14 years. Inspired by his mother, a painter, Surrealist art, Latin American magic realism, music, and the world of cinema, Santiago creates work that looks at the dark and the light in life. "I see the world in a way that even to me is a bit strange, but very real. The world is a strange, complicated, and fascinating place. I’m constantly drawing metaphors of how I see the world and its future. My images are about the relationship between reality and perception." His work has been featured in Surface Magazine, WIRED, Flaunt Magazine, Picture Magazine, GRAPHIC Magazine UK, Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Lenscratch.