Local comics artist, writer, and illustrator Sylvia Nickerson will use her year-long residency within the David Braley and Nancy Gordon Sculpture Atrium as an opportunity to develop content for a new fantasy graphic novel exploring the future of artificial intelligence. Her practice, over two-decades-long, has explored the emotional underworld of urban life, as she thinks about the way humans connect or feel disconnected.
Nickerson is evolving her exploration of character in the exhibition component of the residency. In Dark Mirrors, papier–mâché figures reveal her two-dimensional characters come to three-dimensional life for the first time. Nickerson’s new book is inspired by the way our actions, emotions, and identities are tracked by everyday technologies that passively surveil us. Is it possible for a computer, a government, a corporation, to know us better than we know ourselves? Nickerson plans to use Dark Mirrors as a vehicle for imagining the characters these figures represent in a speculative technological future.
Nickerson has previously written comics examining parenthood, gender, social class, and religion. Her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post. Her graphic novel Creation won The Nipper Doug Wright Award for Best Emerging Comics Talent.
Sylvia created videos during our temporary shutdown due to COVID-19, to demonstrate her process at the beginning of the residency. Watch them here: