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George Jasper Stone’s digital utopias meld the natural and unnatural

TextDominic Cadogan

Working through the medium of CGI images and films, the London-based creative imagines a world where IRL and URL are one

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With every passing day, it feels as if our IRL lives and URL lives are slowly merging and becoming one. Already light years ahead is artist George Jasper Stone, whose work looks like it came straight out of the year 3021. “I feel like day to day interactions that were previously physical will become digitalised,” Stone says, “essentially more of the digital-ecosystem will spread into our daily lives.”

Beautifully captivating, yet at times, haunting and childlike, Stone’s work reimagines natural landscapes in digital form, but every creation has an unnatural twist – a stack of fans blow a meadow of poppies, or a silver horselike creature majestically gallops across a field. Elsewhere, a terrifying futuristic rat has evolved to replace its nose with a glowing USB port and the human body is nothing more than a shifting, amorphous pool of colour

It’s unsurprising that the artist’s work has captured the attention of the likes of Maison Margiela, Off-White, Byredo Makeup, and even Dazed Beauty – where Stone reimagined beauty tribes of the future as part of the Dazed Beauty Space x Selfridges project. 

“I believe that queerness in digital artwork can reverse the normative structures of what those digital tech tools are traditionally used for,” he says. “It’s exciting seeing queer artists finding their voices and making work that is used as a political counter-measure or as resistance.” 

“I believe that queerness in digital artwork can reverse the normative structures of what those digital tech tools are traditionally used for. It’s exciting seeing queer artists finding their voices and making work that is used as a political counter-measure or as resistance” – George Jasper Stone

As we steam ahead towards an increasingly digitised future, Stone is already working on a number of projects – “a film, an album cover, a couple of music videos, and storyboarding some more concepts”, he says – that will have us all plugged in and uploading into our brains before we know it. “I’m most interested in what’s emerging, with different tools and ways to create,” he concludes. “In a way, it’s difficult to establish a boundary between a digital world.”

Here, we speak to the artist about his inspirations, relating to Edna Mode from The Incredibles, and moving towards a utopian future.

Where do you live/ where are you from?

George Jasper Stone: I currently live in south east London. I grew up in a small village in the Midlands just below the Peak District. Being in a remote part of Derbyshire I had quite a close connection to the outdoors. 

What is it you do and how did you get into it?

George Jasper Stone: I’m an artist working on CGI films and images. I experimented with projection and installation at university studying Fine Art in Falmouth. In my final year, I wasn’t sure about what I would do as a career. I was applying for work experience on film sets and then after graduating, I began a job in the art department on a Netflix series called The Crown

I was inspired by production design and began practising technical drawing. Realising that the concepts were essentially very limited by the access to materials and resources I began to search for a creative medium that wasn’t necessarily tied to the physical parameters.  This is when I began experimenting with 3D. 

I then got a job working at a CGI production studio in Borough called Treatment. I was almost living in the studio space. I had little life outside of work but I was driven by learning different techniques. It was exciting developing a small understanding of these fundamentals. It gave a framework for being experimental without the limitations of physical resources like set design. 

What are you trying to communicate through your work and why? 

George Jasper Stone: It’s quite difficult to describe, but my process is primarily intuitive. I suppose a definite aim is to have a connection to an audience and take them on a journey into the idea with their own perceptions, but I really want my work to be able to hold someone's imagination. 

Who or what inspires you? 

George Jasper Stone: From living in a small village in Derbyshire and by the sea in Cornwall, natural elements influence my work. I’ll often draw references to the sea, forest, or an organic element in an environment. Contrarily, I’m also inspired by machines, robots, and uncanny synthetic surrealist environments, outsider art, magic-realism, and sci-fi films.

Can you talk us through some of your favourite images you've created? What response did they get?

George Jasper Stone: Recently, working on Off White’s ‘Imaginary TV’ for Virgil Abloh was great. There was total freedom in a really supportive way and it was a collaboration with some of my favourite artists (Razorade) and musician Kai Smith.  

Working on a design for FKA twigs was also one of my favourite projects. I had to reimagine the AVANTgarden logo in 3D. I wanted the physicality of the object to suggest a story of how it was made. 

What’s been your career highlight so far and what do you hope to accomplish ultimately?

George Jasper Stone: I’m really grateful for all the people I have worked with. I just want to continue making artwork but also now take breaks and experiment with other creative things.  

What does beauty mean to you?

George Jasper Stone: I feel like it’s being compassionate to all sides of yourself.  

Describe your beauty aesthetic in three words.

George Jasper Stone: Play, intuition, and experimentation. 

How do you assert your identity and experiences through your beauty?

George Jasper Stone: I feel like my identity is most visible in the work I make. Although I’m probably the least assertive person. 

Which fictional character do you most relate to and why?

George Jasper Stone: Wall-E or HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Or Edna Mode from The Incredibles

When do you feel most beautiful?

George Jasper Stone: I honestly just love food so much, so probably after eating a meal.

How do you want to change the world?

George Jasper Stone: In many ways. I don’t feel like one person can do it. But, I feel if the queerness in my work is somehow supporting empathy and compassion for the things we don’t yet understand, that’ll be a good place to start.

You’re the editor of a time-travelling beauty journal 100 years from now, what beauty trends are you reporting on?  

George Jasper Stone: How technology is influencing the beauty industry, what can’t be replicated digitally and what has become obsolete. 

It is the sixth day and you are creating humans. They can look however you want them to. What do they look like and why?

George Jasper Stone: Maybe if every part of the body was transparent like glass? I feel like having antlers could be interesting. Although that might be a bit inconvenient after a while... 

What is the future of beauty?

George Jasper Stone: I feel like understandings of the future are going to be always changing. But I hope it’ll be pretty utopian, being radically more inclusive, diverse, and self-expressive

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