Athletes & Technology

Assignment

This work was done as part of a class on Computer Art during my sophomore year of College.

Requirements

The initial challenge was to think about the role technology has played in the world.

Inspiration

From this starting challenge I begin to think past just everyday gadgets we use, the internet etc. and instead decided to focus on how technology has revolutionized sports. Initially I thought about how TV has changed our sports watching habits, how instant replay has affected the games and things of a similar nature.

However, the project occurred right as Oscar Pistorious won his case to run in the Olympics, even though his critics claimed his prosthetic legs gave him an unfair advantage. This was also the aftermath of the Steroid Era in baseball when medical technology and advancements were used to shatter historic records. These events gave me the idea to explore how medical advancements and technology would shape the future of sports.

As we become better at perfecting athletic performance how will it impact our perception of athletes and athletic competition? Sports grew out of the Greek Olympics and the ideals of amateurism and competition. Already indoctrinated in our current global capitalism what will happen when technology exceeds the limits of the human body? Will sports franchises capitalize on these advances? The culture of sports and belief in using “anything to get an edge” has already been demonstrated by the Steroid Era. What happens when Tommy John surgery no longer repairs an elbow injury and returns a player to normal but instead increases the players performance? What will stop an athlete from undergoing a new surgery if it results in increased performance?

Ideation

All these questions swirled in my mind and were my inspiration for the following work. I began with Nike’s advertisements for its new “Pro Combat” line of uniforms. These advertisements already showed the devaluing of the human aspect of sports and presented athletes as robotic soldiers with faceless models. From there I started subtracting limbs to enhance the transition from athlete to some futuristic cross of man and machine. Following the same macro transition from amateur to corporate professional.

Tools

All the work was done using Adobe Photoshop.

Final Product

Project2-Final

(Click to expand)

Use

This image was turned into a poster