Crossings: Swarthmore Undergraduate Feminist Research Journal


This paper presents a novel construction of the Human that arises from digital art. Taking an interdisciplinary approach incorporating perspectives from queer theory, afropessimism, science and technology studies, and more, I analyze the works of three digital artists: Lucas LaRochelle, Arafa Hamadi, and Natalie Paneng. I chart the ways in which these artists negotiate borders between the physical and digital, human and non-human, and real and fantastical to challenge hegemonic Western ideas about humanity and the individual. I claim that by restricting the information available to the user in various ways, the picture of the Human that emerges from each of these artists’ work is one that resists modern claims to the total knowability of the Human. I approach this through an engagement with Glissant’s concept of opacity to argue that it is ultimately the unknowable nature of the Human that allows for the preservation of queer, Black futurity. This work contributes to a body of literature that seeks to examine the alternatives to Western hegemonic ideas that are already in practice around the globe.