Transhuman Expression Human-machine interaction as a neutral base for a New artistic practice.

Oct 17, 2018

Our present era can be distinguished from other historical periods by the sheer amount of data to which we have access— the availability of and rapidity with which information can travel and be translated across disciplines and between places. The ever-growing international community in artistic, academic and urban centres in Europe that is devoted to creating, modelling, reflecting upon and subsequently being remodeled by new constellations of culture. This corresponds to the dynamic transformation of our society through technology and media, not to mention the increasingly frequent movement of people and the mixture of cultures brought about by various forms of migration, both voluntary and forced. It is this contemporary mixed, fragmented and often contrasting society. The rich potential of such cultural convergence offers infinite inspiration for investigating new channels of perception, creation and communication of visual imagery through collective as well as individual expression and experiences.

Transhuman Expression is investigating methods to redefine one of the primitive forms of art— painting— into our current technology-based era. In collaboration with the weDRAW and Casa Paganini team, (computer engineers, neuroscientists, machine engineers, psychologist and pedagogical) we are exploring new methods for the application of paint on canvas, as well as for computer-assisted generation of physical images, and have been using computers and machines in the service of exploring new æsthetic avenues in painting . The aspires to constitute a novel venue for the establishment of new and innovative ground in contemporary artistic practices. This colaboration gave us the privilege to operate in a space that was refreshingly devoid of preconceived rule systems of “right” or “wrong” in terms of æsthetic values, methods of work or structural thoughts. Redefining boundaries and norms to create new forms and perspectives on artistic practices is, what we see as one of the main tasks with which artists are obliged to engage in the creation of contemporary and post-digital art.

Technical Approaches

The interdisciplinary working platform between computer scientists, educational system and the arts can provoke large range of questions regarding the use of robotics in the creative process of painting: How does one incorporate the use of computers and machines in the very intuitive and gestural practice of making a painting? How would we decompose the act of making a mark to a body movement (machine), taking logical decisions (computer) and emotional intentions (the artist)?

Stimulated by the experience and by the exchange between informatics and the robotic world, I found myself compelled to challenge and reconceptualise the foundations of the painterly practice, starting with the bodily movement of the single brushstroke all the way to questions concerning control and loss of control in the creative process. By using the facilities provided by the ICT Project at Casa Paganini, we are investigating human creativity through the interactive methods of computer-to-machine (simulated to real) and man-to-machine (artist working together with the machine) methodologies.

Furthermore, the use of robotics today is widely used in the rehabilitation of disabled people: usingcontrols adapted to a patient's unique movement restrictions, they are able to perform tasks which were previously impossible for them, if physically like picking up a glass of water or in terms of cognition help by stimulating learning behavior through a positive reward when working with computational systems. As a painting robot can be used to decouple artistic ideas from the physical act of painting, this machine could not only give artistic expression back to people diagnosed with disabilities, but also increase autonomic and creative thinking process by reaching beyond the “normal” restriction of how one should gain access to and use new knowledge.

institutions in order to collect information and investigate contemporary parallel researches that I find

relevant to my cross-disciplinary artistic research. An important component of this residency project will involve more in-depth and sustained collaboration, on the practical side with computer and machine engineers and on the theoretical side with philosophers and art theorists, all of whom have been involved in some way with my projects in recent years.

The meeting point of art, science, social understanding and education as a place of inspiration, exchange of knowledge and creation is the main focal point of my residency.

Transhoman exprestion is a creation of new series of artworks that will arise through the synthesis of the interactive learning methods of human movment weDRAW and my ongoing research made with the e-David painting robot at the University of Konstanz.

The work is particularly focusing on the transformation of the development process from the simulated world into the real world, using hardware (robotics) to interact with real materials and actions — namely physical movement and interaction with materials, namely painting. The colboration is centred around topics such as “paradigms of creativity” under the subjects of “New Materialism / Anthropocentrism / Post humanism” with the goal of positioning and understanding machine-assisted creative interfaces within the broader field of media art and painting traditions.

Images:preliminary sketches for painting and interactive systems. @Liat grayver

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VERTIGO is funded under the H2020 European STARTS initiative, innovation at the nexus of Science, Technology, and the ARTS. STARTS promotes the arts as catalysts for efficient conversion of science and technology knowledge into products, services, and processes.