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Substitution by Miles-Johnston Substitution by Miles-Johnston
Hey! This was a shitload of fun to make :)

I was thinking about how creepy it would be if in the future, people start neglecting their real bodies to exclusively live in downloaded indistinguishably real simulations. There would be all kinds of interesting philosophical debates to have, and loads of conflicting opinions on the technology. It's an idea I might explore more, especially if people dig it.

Hope you like, please let me know what you think! :)

Prints here!

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Daily Deviation

Given 2012-10-22
Danny-Rammstein Featured By Owner May 31, 2016
I love this kind of paintings, you're amazing, thanks for materialize this.
icchan-goboom Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
This is fucking amazing. I love the subtle heart
Danny-Rammstein Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2016
I love it
okay21 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's me right now. 
ZombieGerbil Featured By Owner Edited Oct 1, 2015
Personally I would love to have downloaded simulations created by me (The Dream World).
The things I've seen, learned, done and lived through has given me all sorts of ideas.
Living in something completely created by me and living a beautiful endless dream would have no complaint from me.
kakainferno Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2015
Great work on the artwork, but seriously what you described was literally word by word what the Matrix is.  
Sabergre Featured By Owner Edited Sep 27, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
And who's to say we're not doing this already? (omg MATRIX MUCH?????)

Seriously though, is it not convenient that food just grows on trees and all of our morels come from religions that come in handy little traditions and books 'too old to trace back to their original sources'?
Sabergre Featured By Owner Edited Sep 27, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If was forced by society to live in a purely neurological/digital world, where the only things that exist there were what we inserted ourselves, I would have no problem with it whatsoever.  I've always wanted to do something like that.
NeoToxicGenii Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2015
movie Surrogates with Bruce Willis comes to mind instantly.
DeathSlayer1602 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Matrix please :P
AlexandrBerk Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very good idea!
zezonz Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing concept! Beautifull!
TheCrownJeweller Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
What a sad and beautiful picture, wow!
arabiannia Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2015  Hobbyist
Love it! Great expression.
Fernezco Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2015
great work!
Idiotbox914 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2015
The picture is both beautiful and depressing. Beautiful in that it easily conveys a message. Depressing in what the message being conveyed is. Excellent job the picture. 
umatbru Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015
Might as well upload yourself to the Internet.
PercyPo Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2015  Student Filmographer
Frankly I don't think this day is far off.

Most people are already to that point in a certain context. There are online games/events/and such that are almost the same.

When it gets to the point where it's REAL however....Mentally speaking.....This world will become catastrophic.
argontus Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Great idea and very smoothly done :)
saperka99 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2014  Student General Artist
You captured this concept so well! Great artwork and great idea.
BlackNight-DarkSky Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014  Student Digital Artist
A longingly beautiful, if not ever debatable, piece. The message is clearly portrayed, and the presentation is well done. I feel that if it had been a bit bolder with the use of perspective (perhaps having the dream closer while the reality is pushed into back) it might have created a more powerful message, but perhaps it would have lost the balance that is displayed here. The artist's statement also helps strengthen the choice of keeping things on an even plane because after the initial awe of viewing the piece, one begins to question the morality of the concept: 'should one believe in the dream, or is the dream a lie?'. The placement of the subjects at even distance creates a sort of relationship that helps illuminate the teeter-totter this discussion can invoke. Both sides of has good points and both sides have flaws. Sometimes it is better to be in a dream; (say, a boy who has seen nothing but the ugliness of war and was forced to participate in the horrors of it, and now, after having most of his body blown off, is given the chance to live out the rest of his life in a dream he can create for himself) and sometimes it is better to wake up (a woman looses her 4 year old child and decides to loose herself to the dream while her older daughter is forced to keep up the household and burden the responsibilities no child should ever have to). Quandaries such as this are at the crux of the problem, but both sides make strong points. Therefore, it is only fair that the artistic depiction of such a thing also feel balanced. Coming back to the original point, i believe that this piece pulls that off spectacularly.
In my opinion the lighting should have been stronger for the dream side, as it doesn't quite feel as happy as it could get. The space between the two lovers in particular sticks out like a sore thumb and some detail on the right side is also lost due to it being too dark, and i just thought that having those aspects clearly visible would bolster the questionable aspects of the piece. Still, it could be that that was the artist's intention; to deliberately show the dream on even lighting to create proper and fair balance between the two. Maybe making one side too bright might have drawn the viewer's attention away from the reality side which I can see is entirely possible. Whatever the case, the mood created by the lighting is dark which is countered by the spray of colors in the dream.
The topic for the dream state could have varied, as there could be a number of things that would touch the heartstrings better than a love interest. Too many times i see love turned to borderline lust, that now it feels very much like a given and i question the intentions of the concept to the point where it's almost unappealing (notice how i say almost)- its as if it's being said that if we were to dream, the foremost thing we'd dream of is a love interest. But to be fair, the concept of having a scantily clad woman by one's side is quite popular (this is the part where that almost comment comes in and is beaten down to a slimy mush by my own inherent and unconscious hypocrisy), so why not?
The colors. THIS is the driving point that, to me, really helps send the message home. For the life of me i cannot understand how the artist created the spray of colors. EVERYTHING about the colors is fantastic. The dream state has a foggy but oceanic serenity mixed with a wonderment, cloudy feeling, and all of this is portrayed by the colors. The reality has a harsh, strong, yellow lighting which makes everything around it look subtly angry and depressing. A spectacular combination!
All in all, the piece is incredible. It touches on an issue most artists would love to ponder, and i believe secretly wish for. It speaks out to almost everyone, and it brings out feelings of both awe and concern. I believe the piece will provoke two kinds of feelings: either people will love it, or people will hate it. Both emotions are in fact praise. The one thing every artist dreads is a negative comment, and will try to defend his/her work if they ever are so critically judged. But in my opinion, the truly worst kind of reaction one should dread from a piece is indifference. It is the absolute worst feeling for an artist to stand by his piece in a gallery, see people coming down the line, reach his/her installation....and simply walk on, their eyes sliding past the piece. To invoke no emotions in a person- be it hate, love, confusion, or intrigue- is the sign of doom. I can safely say that regardless of what this piece might invoke in you, it will never allow you to ignore it. Allow me to say thank you, and well done!
juditithil Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey, your artwork has been posted on 9gag without credit, I thought you should know.
Miles-Johnston Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014
thanks for the heads up!
MikauJiro Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014  Student Artist
This reminds me of a book I read called ''The Last Book in the Universe''
I really like this a lot though
ionakate Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2014
How how HOW did you create that glorious oil-effect? The really vibrant blues and greens of the dream... It's incredible!
PhaennaMir Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014  Student Digital Artist
The clash between reality and a fantasy world. This is excellently done, I love the message! :thumbsup:
AngeInk Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautifully done! And an excellent concept. :)
Proxione Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"people start neglecting their real bodies to exclusively live in downloaded indistinguishably real simulations" Yes, exactly... in Matrix Imagine all people who wanna kill/rob someone for example may live their desire in the virtual reality... no crime anymore... we do not need prisons... or people can be rich, good looking, whatever they wanna be...

We just have to keep it as privacy, otherwise the "Big Brother" might end up controlling your mind... I'am looking forward to it... good picture btw.

- Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2014
i think it's already begun :lol:
Miles-Johnston Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
yes it's weird, made this a few years ago and genuinely feels like we get closer every year 
Masa-Mima Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
dcoetzee Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
FYI your art stimulated a big discussion on the reddit forum for the Oculus Rift virtual reality head mounted display:…

Thank you for sharing this thought-provoking work!
Jackclamp Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014
awesome! LOVE IT!
ov3rflow Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
lOVE the colours!
ov3rflow Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Maybe we all would live in this dream world. INCEPTION!
CassandraJames Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Amazing colours.
willow202me Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
WOW! I hope to see your work in DC galleries.
Janharty Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Lovely. I like.
stimp24 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Student Digital Artist
this reminds me of the matrix
orionshmorion Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2013
This is amazing on so many levels - the idea, the execution, the style... absolutely amazing!
asdfneingag Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2013  Student General Artist
they look like some certain actor/actress....can I say who they are? :D
Larpa-art Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014
who are they?
asdfneingag Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014  Student General Artist
they look like Robert Downey and Scarlett Johansson :)
Sabor7 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2013  Student Artist
Have you ever watched the movie "surrogates"? It has a lot to do with this topic, you might enjoy it. 
amayamua Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
wow this is such a cool concept. and i love the difference in colours in each scene and how it totally works together
Creator14 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautifully painted, but it looks really scary...
Phoenix-from-Flames Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Virtual reality vs. real life - A highly controverse and very interesting topic, definately worth further exploration and discussion.

One detail that caught my eye right away was the colour contrast: The dreamscape is engulved in rainbow colours, whereas the "ugly" reality appears monotone and depressing (which it is in regard to the topic).

Also, the fetal position of the real person tells something about his emotional state.
An interesting detail is that he pulls the blanket very close; it gives me the idea that he is fully aware about the circumstances of his situation; he knows about the illusion and the heavy toll it's taking on his real self,
but he chooses to ignore it, painful as this might be - undernourished, he lies in his filthy cradle and embraces the illusion like a drowning man would cling to a punctured liferaft.

One question that comes to my mindis how he became like this ? Why did he choose illusion over reality ?

The title "Substitution" implies for me that he couldn't find what he was looking for in real life, so he took on a substitute to supply the emotions he desires.
Maybe he just wanted to use it once, to help him through a tough episode of his life ? Maybe he was able to put it away after the first time, until reality struck him once again ?
Does he willingly clasp to an illusion because this world holds nothing more for him ? Or is it just easier this way ? It certainly doesn't seem to be more comfortable...

Is it easier to subject to a certain suffering you understand or might accept a major, yet uncertain one ?
Is it better to substitute fellings, instead of not feeling at all ?
Is it better to cradle a dream  than risk it's demise ?
Would you rather want the story to end prematurely at the "happy" ending than knowing the whole tale ?

Many, many questions here; many theories about - What are yours ?
doolhoofd Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2014
Cudos on this excellent reply. 
Phoenix-from-Flames Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you :handshake: - The artwork really set off an avalanche of thoughts and ideas in my head.
doolhoofd Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014
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July 4, 2012
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Jun 24, 2012, 6:03:12 AM
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