GMU:Artists Lab IV/Daria Dordina/Assignment 1

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  1. Liam Young: Where the city can't see
  2. Nikita Diakur works
  3. Karl Sims: Evolved Virtual Creatures
  4. So Kanno: Avatars

Obviously, all the works in the collection interpret the new possibilities of interactive art in different ways. It seemed to me meaningful to divide them into three main categories: work with the visual, work with the movement and reflection of the internal processes. Some works fall into two categories at once.By working with visuals, I mean, rather, thinking about completely new ways to get images - this refers to the work of Videoplace. Robot readable world uses "technical", "side" images as artistic material, inheriting pioneers of cinema from the beginning of the 20th century, but now it is not a "kino eye", but a "robot eye", so a layer of interpretation is added. Underscan work puts images where they shouldn't be, in your own shadow. In general, this work seemed to me one of the most amusing, although it's quite complex and therefore not as elegant as many in this collection. However, the fact that a completely neutral stranger is looking at you from your shadow expresses something pleasantly creepy about it. I added two more works to this collection, Where the city can't see (similar to Robot readable world in terms of "side images", but using laser scanning) and the works of Nikita Diakur. He is trying to deconstruct 3D animation production, for example, using the camera mapping technique, which is usually used to create “realistic” videos, to display the underside of the digital world.

Almost all the works in the kinetic category, in my opinion, are united by the emphasis on “abrupt”, “jerking”, imperfect movement of robots, and it seemed to me like setting a new type of movement into mainstream representations. It's similar how at the end of the 19th century the “ideal” movement of mechanisms began to be aesthetized and filled with meanings. I added the work of Karl Sims: Evolved Virtual Creatures to this category, although it is a little further away from the directly "interactive" art. This is a demonstration of the algorithm, more precisely, a record of evolutionary iterations. Small creatures, consisting of geometric primitives, learn to walk, swim, avoid obstacles. A spectator sets the configuration and the desired mode of action and observes how the model “learns” and evolves. Such evolving creatures endowed with some kind of mysterious intelligence are often found both in video art (Nikita Diakur’s work is another example) and in different fields of science. It seems to me that this new type of “movement”, “learning process” also deserves attention.By process aesthetics, I mean the emphasis on the internal process that underlies the installation. For example, in Braitenberg's works, these are combinations of sensors and simple binary reactions of attraction/repulsion which are the most interesting parts of the installation, while architectural work does not emphasize the result itself (column or bridge), but how the robots interacted during construction. At the same time, it seemed interesting to me for recent works that robots are perceived as something very utilitarian, the next step after an automated circular saw, or something like that. Although Maria Yablonina works with the phenomenon of robots also as an artist.

I highlighted a few more general remarks by which I grouped some of my work. The correlation of emphasis on animation of objects and independent operation of the algorithm seemed interesting. Three works are something that I (to some extent) could attribute to the phenomenon of юродство (God's Fool) - useless machines that seem to serve as objects for possible communication, but in reality are something like a mirror, focusing on yourself. The “other” turns out to be some kind of flickering object.