@sunset.vista imagines a future where nature and tech collide
Hit follow on @sunset.vista – @dazedfashion’s Instagram of the week – and you’ll be met with an expertly curated grid of images that sees living species, innovative technology, and artificial intelligence collide.
With a bio reading ‘where beautiful things come to die’, Luke Dawson, an 18 year old student from the Wirral is the name behind the account. Dawson describes @sunset.vista as ‘a surreal collection of images that explore hyper-reality, mundanity, and everything in between’.
“The idea behind the account was that it would unite conventional and unconventional sources of beauty,” says Dawson. “Unfortunately beauty can be overlooked when it comes in the form of something abnormal or unfamiliar.” Having started @sunset.vista as a place to post ‘aesthetically pleasing porn stills’, he realised it wouldn’t last long on Instagram if he took that route. “Instead, I started to centre my content around technology, which gradually evolved into what you see now.”
The account’s name comes from the Crash Bandicoot level of the same name – “the artificial scenery in the level is a perfect example of the combination of nature and technology that tends to dominate the content I post. Plus Crash Bandicoot was a big part of my childhood” explains Dawson. “For example, the giant arachnid-type creatures emerging from the sea, or cyborg-like beings that blur the boundary between real and robotic.”
The relationship between nature and tech is clearly one that Dawson is drawn to. “It’s a mistake to underestimate just how much is possible. Eventually, I think technology will be utilised to save the planet from environmental doom. We're already seeing the development of electric cars, robotic bees, machines that can clean up the world's oceans and sustainable farming methods like vertical farming. But I think the big game changer will be artificial intelligence,” he says. “I trust in its ability to replenish the environment once it becomes as complex as the human brain, it may wipe out the human race along the way but we will have done our bit by then. Robots could be – in a sense – the next stage of human evolution.”
Dawson’s account is as much a research project as it is a vehicle for heightened self-expression. “It’s been really useful in helping me establish my own identity and aesthetic,” explains Dawson. “It's pretty much a refined and blinged-out product of my personal aesthetic, which leans more towards the ironic undertones that appear in my content. The aesthetic I experiment with doesn't come across as much as I would like in other aspects of my life, so it's a good representation of what interests me and the things I'm passionate about. The work of artists, fashion designers and musicians which I'm a fan of often appear on my account too.”