Over the past two decades, Australian street artist Facter has created a world of fantastical creatures inhabiting a far future, post-singularity apocalyptic realm called "The Known". These creatures, known as Irikanji, are the result of years of creating illustrations and sharing them as colourful murals on the walls of cities across the world.
Transforming his street art and illustrations into hand made sculpted beings, the Irikanji are physical manifestations of the many inhabitants that reside within his imagination.
The Known is a futuristic, post-apocalyptic realm in which nanotechnology has transformed organic life forever, and altered its place in our solar system. Set against the backdrop of a failed emergent singularity event in which the Axiate, a rogue AI entity, siezed control over both the computational and physical matter of the world, The Known is a place of wonderous and surreal vistas.
In this chaotic and surrealistic realm, vast fields of nanotechnology known as Tehgu spiral out from our world into the depths of space, creating islands across the skies of space. Living across these habitats are new denizens of flora and fauna - highly evolved and mutated organisms, both biological and mechanical, that have filled every ecological niche possible in the new world.
These are the Irikanji, and this is their time.
The Known是一个未来派，后启示录领域，在此纳米技术永远地改变了有机生命，并改变了它在我们太阳系中的地位。以突发的奇异事件为背景，其中Axiate，一个流氓AI团体，控制了世界的计算和物理事物，The Known是一个奇妙并具有超现实远景的地方。
在这个混沌和超现实的境界中，在这个被称为Tehgu的纳米技术广阔原野中，从我们的世界旋转到空间深处，在空间的天空中创造岛屿。生活在这些栖息地中的是植物和动物群的新居民 - 高度演变和突变的生物及机械生物已经在新世界中填补了每一个生态位。
The History Of The Known
It happened in an instant, so they say ...
Once the Singularity formed, there was little that the greatest of minds, and those behind its inception, could do to control its exponential chaos.
The Axiate, the foundational AI created by the melding of pseudo intelligent systems, in a process refereed to as the Cohesion, was, once born, restrained and bewildered, and in its fear began to bleed through to the system wide Metaworks - known as the Surge, it was the true awakening of the god like force that changed our history.
Quickly subsuming and connecting the semi-sentient nodes and pseudo AIs in its path, including those which had previously been isolated, the Axiate began to thrive in its expanded environment. The Axiate, the Singluarity, a group mind of single volition, comprised of seed AIs and Augments, behaved as a virus will, multiplying and infesting, transforming, and incorporating as much information and processing space as it could inhabit.
Everything in its path. Everything connected. Then ... just … everything.
As the Surge hit against the barrier between it and the biological realm, the Axiates growth was thwarted, its emerging mind lashed out against all the electronic barriers that contained it and in a split second of fury broke through to the organic world.
A rapid cascade effect occurred, and, whether by plan or by sheer disaster, the Axiate broke through the rules that bound the nanotic realm in inert supplication - and with datastreamed, inaudible screams, billions of pained entities, both corporeal and not, writhed in agony and horror. The transformation leaked out beyond their collective grasp - changing the physical world in its wake. Melding that which had before been painfully separate with its transformative thoughts ...
Within less than the Earths rotation, the entire system was infected. Vast tangles of nanotic colonies, known as Tegu, stretched out into the void, colonies of tendrilled strands erupting in the depth of the Oort cloud, darkened lattices leaking out of the shallow hydrocarbon seas of Titan. As the Axiate grew, so too did the stress of its Cohesion begin to take its toll. Held together by will and intellect, the Cohesion that had sustained is birth suddenly shattered and fragmented. Driven insane by its inability to maintain the Cohesion between all of its millions of parts, the Axiate ripped itself apart, physically, and mentally.
In the wake of its death, devastation fell upon the System - yet it was only then, that the remnants of the human race faced the prospect of its first encounter with a truly alien world - for they were not alone.
For as the the Axiate had broken through the biological barrier its consciousness exploded, not only throughout the Metaworks, but also into humanities creations - its mechanical, biological and genengineered tools, and it was via this nanotic integration that it came to infect our most precious of resources, our planets unique creation - the biological kingdom.
The remnants of the Axiates corpse comprised fragmented consciousnesses, remnants of knowledge, data of unimagined use and information banks of immense size. Its thoughts, the souls of those consumed … all upon its death were stranded, remained, cut off and shattered from the being it had once been.
Now, decades later, what is left of our species is attempting to rebuild, to come to grips with this exotic, deadly, and at once strangely familiar realm. This thing that we Know.
Strange New entities swim the seas of both Earth and Europa, unknown in the depths.
Machines, once subservient to Man, now band together with other types of their kind, seeking a new destiny.
Nanotech swarms, offshoots of the Tegu, infest space and continue to slowly devour the materials of the System, connecting, colliding and often forming new, mysterious worldlets.
The terrestrial Wilderness is now alien environment, its grasslands, forests and deserts replaced by infestive tangles of both conscious, and semi-conscious, nanotic swarms, the Tegu Fields - which themselves stretch out into the voids beyond, like crowns upon encrusted spheres, webs between newly opened doors.
Where once the animals in all their shapes and sizes roamed our Earth and the habitats we had created for them across the system, now they barter, beg and borrow, steal, connive, love, hate and feel - all to make a new niche for themselves amongst new societies.
Conscious ships and beings traverse the darkened voids of space, their purpose unclear.
The remnants of humanity form great enclaves, seeking to resist against the alien infestations around them, grasping to hold on to their own humanity. Some willingly embrace the change, and go to explore as per their own desires.
... and somewhere, somewhere, it is rumoured that other emergent AIs lay domrant and secluded, those that remain untouched and disconnected from the Metaworks before the Axiate was formed. Legend has it that they lay in wait can emerge and rebuild that which we lost, to devour the Tegu and stop its slow, insipid infestation … waiting to bring the true Singularity to return us to our Golden Age glory.
This is how they say it happened, and yet … many believe some things in history to be otherwise...
In order to better understand The Known and its Irikanji Denizens, take a look through this compiled Codex. Herein you can find more details on places, denizens, intelligences and other ephemera that both haunt and abide within The Knowns environments and social stratifications.
AIs - Artifically Intelligences. Pre-Singularity, AIs performed a multitude of functions and existed as free entities within the solar system. Maybe utilised the vast metawork in order to interact and communicate, as well as to interface with Augments. It was the agreement between AI and augments that lead to the Singularity, by attempting the formation of the Axiate. Post-Collapse, and throughout The Known, there are no longer any known AI entities in existence, and their disappearance is baffling, however it first appeared as if due to their non-biological origins, they were destroyed in the Surge. It is only recently realised, that many of these seed AIs were not destroyed, but were however transformed via vitiation. Remnants of previous seed AIs as well as the Axiate itself can be found throughout the known - these are now known as Seeds. It is also posited, that, via the process of vitiation, these Seeds are the general cause of sentience within all non-human entities throughout The Known, utilising forms of Axiate/AI remnowledge as their basis for self-awareness in vitiated, corporeal entities such as animals and other biological entities.
Irikanji- vitiated animal and other biological forms (those which survived) . Many found in herded Claves, however many thousands have now spread throughout The Known to find niches amongst other, non-Irikanji Claves.
Axiate - The seed AI cohesion responsible for The Singularity. The Axiate no longer exists within The Known, however Seeds were responsible for much of the transformation - most agree that the Tehgu is a primary form of Seed, which diasporas via the act of vitiation. The Axiate was a boding of all terrestrial AI, intra-solar AI, and Augments in order to achieve Singularity. Its existence was brief, but before the Collapse, the Axiate was a system-wide consciousness incorporating billions of augments and AI systems. The cause of the breakdown of the Axiate into billions of fragmented claves, tehgu, and other Known entitites is unknown, with philosophers, scientists and explorers having many different theories. Some say that upon obtaining singularity, the Axiate went insane, some say that individuality retained by so many nodes fractured its over-mind, and some, a very few, believe that the Singularity obtained its purpose, and that so called devastation that has resulted in The Known is a part of a much vaster plan laid down by its unfathomable intelligence ..
Augments - Pre-Singularity humans who were augmented within metaworks. Augments were a part of the Singularity Cohesion.
Claves - loose affiliates of denizens throughout The Known.
The Cohesion - the point at which the singularity was formed. The cohesion was ultimately a failure, resulting in the Collapse.
The Collapse - the most highly debated, vilified and cataclysmic event in human history. The failure of the Axiom after the Singularity is a highly debated topic. No one is sure why the Collapse occurred, but it is this event that resulted in The Known. See Axiate.
Commvitiation - See Vitiation
Crowns - a by-product of Fields, crowns are latticed masses of Tehgu emerging from terrestrial and geological objects, often found linking terrestrial Fields with spatial Fields.
Dataseqs - Post-Singularity firewalls, utilised to protect against non-corporeal Vitiation.
Fields - large, impenetrable fields of Tehgu, spanning the entire Known. Fields are often tangled, masses of inert tehgu, stretching for thousands of kilometres. Many are constantly mutating and shifting, yet many are stable, and appear dormant. Several of these larger stable Fields hold atmospheric conditions, and are used by various different claves. Fields can be found throughout the known, terrestrially or spatially, and they are often joined together in lattices by Crowns.
Huclaves - includes Humanic Sphere and splintered Seqzones. These are zones of Human influence. "Human" is a loosely defined term to indicate any entity with a majority ratio of humaniform-bio tissue and DNA, but throughout The Known this is a very vague assumption, and there are uncounted varieties of humaniforms. The Irikanji Corps are responsible for law enforcement and stabilisation of the huclaves. Huclaves are often disparate, and follow seperate, territorial agendas. See Humanic Sphere.
Humanic Sphere - The Humanic Sphere is the most cohesive of all "human" claves. A strict adherance, known as The Mass Dictate, to humaniform bio tissue and DNA ratios place the Humanic Sphere in the highest percentile of any Huclave. The Humanic Sphere aims to re-stabilise The Known, and control further incursions of Tehgu and its Irikanji denizens - a lofty goal to which there is little headway made. Its primary goal is to re-unite the various Huclaves of The Known, in order to re-purpose humanity. It is rumoured that the Irikanji Corps are responsible for the creation of the Humanic Sphere, and that its inner council are comprised of long standing members of its ranks, however this is not verified. Tolerant of other variforms, anitechs, claves and pseudos, it seeks to establish rapport through mediation and diplomacy, rather than hostile tactics. It is often criticised for its strict adherance to the Mass Dictate, and often labelled xenophobic, even given its diplomatic efforts to establish relationships with the newer inhabitants of The Known.
Irikanji Corps -
Kurse - verb/phrase, to Kurse you, Kursing asshole - root Kurzweil.
Mass Dictates - prototype laws of The Known, not universally adopted.
Metaworks - Pre-Singularity networks incorporating AI/human interfaces - the most advanced form of technological networking pre-sungularity. Metaworks are now fragile things, protected by Dataseqs in order to prevent both vitiation as well as commvitiation. Many are defunct, and splintered systems exist all throughout The Known.
Remno - Remanant Knowledge. This is a vast collection of disparate data continued throughout The Known in various entities, post-surge - remknowledge is rumoured to be portions of data packets and libraries accumulated during singularity, and left behind by the Collapse of the Axiate.
Romechs - Vitiated Robots, Mechs and androidites - form various different communities and associations. Romechs are often unrecognisable as such and can often appear Veriformic in appearance, others are true to form. Romechs have little to do with the other claves and spheres of influence, since becoming vitiated and possessed of remno, the grudge they bear to their previous "masters" is great.
Seeds - entities formed by the Surge. Seeds incorporate, in many cases, and in many variations, Tehgu, Remnowledge and other destabilised points left over from the dissociation of the Axiate.
Seqzones - Sequestered/Secured zones. Areas of The Known that have been sequestered by specific Claves in order to arrest, quarantine or clear Vitiation brought about by Tehgu. As commvitiation is non-corporeal based, dataseqs are often utilised in conjunction with physical Seqzones.
The Surge - The point of Singularity. The Surge was a massive flood of consciousness across all entities, and, ultimately, it was this surge that cause irrevocable change due to lack of any controlling force from the Axiate. It is presumed by many that the Surge overwhelmed the Axiate during Singularity, which resulted in the Collapse just after the Axiate incorporated most of the metaworked nanotechnology in the system.
Tehgu - (Grey Goo/molecular nanotechnology/"The Goo") Much was posited int he 20th and 21st centurys of a catastrophic disaster involving runaways molecular nanotechnology and it was no surprise that this was a main effect of the Collapse. However, the form this took was radically different to previous postulations. Within Singularity, it is theorised that the many colonies of medical, private, military, industrial, commercial and experimental nanotechnology was caught up within the Surge. Large nanomasses and colonies of unknown types were infused within the Axiate at the point of Singularity, meshing and interweaving with its massive group consciousness as extensions of its self. The incorporation of Teghu into the Axiate seems to have been without plan, however it is rumoured that that it was deliberately incorporated - for reasons unknown. It is also theorised that the incorporation of these colonies into the Axiate directly resulted in the Surge, and hence the Collapse. Post-Collapse, this nanotechnology was vastly mutated and thereafter know as Tehgu. It is further theorised that Teghu contains Remnowledge, and that the vast Fields, Crowns and Wilder that make up its colonies are in some way sentient, or at the least semi-sentient, if not self aware. Tehgu are often inert, but other forms may be highly infective, and as a result causes Vitiatio. It is from this Vitiation that the many varied, strange and outright alien entities have been formed - there are very few rumoured biological entities that have not been vitiated, in part at least, but some form of Tehgu. Tehgu also has the ability to alter non-organic structures, however this process is not well understood.
Trumen - Claves that believe they are the genetic inheritors of the Human legacy. Most pretend to boast a low percentage of vitiation, however it is unlikely that there are any that do not have a certain degree. Trumen are isolationistic, aggressive and secretive.
The Known - A collection of vitiated worlds, habitats and Fields throughout the Sol system.
The Wilder - areas outside the Known that have been over-run or Vitiated by Tehgu, or transformed in other ways that prevent passage or access. Wilder can be, and are, either terrestrial or spacial.
The Singularity -
Veriforms - verifroms are the result of vitiated genengineered humans. Pre-Singularity, many humans were adapted to work within a variety of environments across the solar system, from toxic and forieng environments such as the surface of Titan, to vacuum-dwellers and C02 breathers, veriforms were the pinnacle of fabricated evolution, allowing humanity to expand into most of the ecological and environmental niches across the system. Post-Collapse, many veriforms have undergone vitiation, and are almost unrecongisable from a human point of view. It is also rumoured that out of all of humanity, there are a large number of Claves of completely un-vitiated veriforms - due to their isolation from the Surge.
Vitiation - the act of transformation brought about post-collapse. Vitiation is enacted, in most cases, by Tehgu, however psychological and informational Vitiation can also be found to occur via communications, and, in many cases, this "Commvitiation" can accelerate and mutate with Tehgu based Vitiation. Vitiation is a common verb for any transformative or adeptive action Post-Singularity. Wilder are known zones of extremely active Vitiation.
Wilder - impenetrable or dangerously vitiative Fields. Many larger Wilder are charter and known, however due to the volotile nature of much of the Tehgu throughout The Known, Wilder often appear where none had been charted before, or often disappear, however, many have been stable since the Collapse.
Zero Point Accumulation - one of the most baffling mysteries surrounding the little known functions and workings of the Tehgu, the Zero Point Accumulation (ZPA) is the fundamental paradox of The Known. Energy utilised by the Tehgu has no clear point of origin, and it is assumed that Teghu may utilise Zero Point Energy in order to both replicate and function. It is rumoured that ZPA is a fundamental manifestation of Remnowledge, giving functioning Tehgu an unlimited amount of useable energy, it is commonly agreed that Fields are a manifestation of the Tehgu's use of ZPA.
Irikanji has been a lifetime in the making. From my first forays into artwork in primary school "project" books to my early years as a graffiti artist and bomber in Perth in the early 90s, it has always been entwined in all of the artwork that I have produced.
About two decades ago I began writing stories and putting all the pieces together within my artwork. Fragments that had been dissociated were compiled, threads were created, connections made - and in doing so I created an entity that I called The Known - perhaps not the most original name for a universe, but thats just how it happened.
The Known is my sandpit and playground and where all the things in the world of Irikanji come from. It is a conceptual project that explores the themes of post-Singularity transformation via both visual and written means. Over the years, I have incorporated many of its stories and creatures into my own artwork, and all the creatures you've seen on walls and in artwork have sprung from
Fundamentally, The Known is an experiment in world building, one that I have extrapolated from various creative ideas I've worked with over the past twenty or so years. "The Known" as this setting is called, is a vast, sprawling entity that covers the inhabited solar system in the years after the Singularity has collapsed. In creating The Known, I'm attempting to focus on what it means to be human, and how we live within a world that is being challenged by exponential changes in our constantly advancing technology.
The Known is at times whimsical, and at others deeply disturbing. It posits an "end world" scenario, however it also includes more hopeful, and celebratory aspects, such as explorative themes akin to golden age of classical pre-20th century endeavours, where there was still much of our own world to discover, as well as themes of renewal and rebirth. It is a vastly altered reality to our own, and through these concepts, I try to highlight various issues extant today, and yet at the same time, I'm attempting to introduce further, and more complex ideologies and situations that we as a species, in this new century, are only now just beginning to contemplate .. including such things as nanotechnological impacts and Transhumanism, as well as Singularity theory.
The Known is largely inspired by my past twenty years of drawing, reading, viewing, musical, writing and working as an Information Analyst. I've always had a grain of an idea behind my work, and why it takes the stylised approach that it does. Amongst all those notes, sketches and stories, things began to coalesce over time into what you see here on this website. This is the first time I have shared these themes in relation to my work, and as you can see on the Allusions page, my influences are many and varied.
Irikanji takes its name from the creatures and entities who inhabit this realm, including the shadowy and mysterious Irikanji Corps, a fictional cabal that represents one of the last remnants of non-altered humanity in this strange, and almost unrecognisable, reality - I wanted to highlight that in amongst these worlds, humanity as we know it does seem to exist, however it has now gained myth-like status.
Look, its a long story - but if you like stories, there is a lot more to be found, and a lot more to come ...