Antoine Catala

Emobot
Catala’s work investigate emotions and empathy in our technological information-driven society. His computer generated Emobot appears at once familiar and strange as it utters simple statement about its feelings. The visually mesmerizing figure might serve as an avatar onto which we relate to the expression of strong feelings when they are delivered digitally-an increasing prevalent cultural phenomena. Listening to a not-quite human presence express its vulnerability may have less impact in us than hearing a real person communicate similar emotions. Nevertheless, the deliberate and repetitive manner in which Emobot articulates powerful sentiments affords us ample opportunity to reflect on the existential quality of their meaning.

Stine Deja

Synthetic Seduction

Foreigner

Stine Deja and Marie Munk

The title of the exhibition was inspired by Sherry Turkle’s theory of how technology seduces us, making emotions “easy” by offering human relationships without the complexity of being together ‘face to face’. But if machines can become attentive and emotional, what is left to distinguish us as human beings? We are facing a paradigm shift in how we understand ourselves physiologically, as data and algorithms, and are being forced to question the role of our biological body. As the relationship between artificial and human intelligence becomes increasingly intermingled in our everyday lives, Synthetic Seduction provides immersive and timely insight into the limits of human empathy and intimacy. We are glad at SixtyEight Art Institute to host such a space for thought. We hope it will start conversations and maybe even encourage some intimacy among our visiting audiences in the coming weeks.

Cassils

Inextinguishable fire
The title of the piece references Harun Farocki’s 1969 film of the same name, which approaches the impossible task of effectively depicting the horror of napalm on film. Cassils’s gesture of self-immolation speaks to both the desire for–and the impossibility of–knowing such horror, even while decisively aiming to approach it. Though the stunt is a simulation of violence, it still presents real danger. This possibly volatile situation–and the attempt to control it–is captured to create an image where danger, empathy for those experiencing violence, and the privilege of removal from such circumstance operate simultaneously in one transparent performance.

ROBERT WILSON

بوب ويلسون
鲍伯·威尔逊
בוב וילסון
ロバート·ウィルソン
밥 윌슨
Боб Уилсон
VOOM PORTRAITS
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI

…Robert Wilson does not portray only famous personalities, such as Isabella Rossellini, Brad Pitt, or Caroline von Monaco, but also unknown people and animals who have until now escaped artistic representation, such as a street dancer or a frog. In precisely these stagings, Wilson’s complex visual and sound languages reach their climax, namely, a celebration of empathy: anonymous people become divas, neutral beings achieve cult status. Wilson’s video portraits thus have a cognitive function. Within the history of portrait painting and photographic portraits, especially staged photography, his staged portraits present not only a pinnacle of accomplishment, but also, first and foremost, a climax that is groundbreaking.

RAFFAELLO D’ ANDREA AND MAX DEAN

The Robotic Chair
The Robotic Chair is a generic-looking wooden chair with the capacity to fall apart and put itself back together. With shuddering force, the chair collapses to the floor. With persistence and determination, it proceeds to seek out its parts and upright itself. Powered by MICROMO coreless dc motors, The Robotic Chair is distinguished in the world of objects for its capacity to elicit empathy, compassion and hope.

TEUN VONK

FILE SAO PAULO 2017
THE PHYSICAL MIND
“The Physical Mind” is Vonk’s attempt to let participants experience the relation between their physical and mental states by applying physical pressure to the body. The installation consists of two inflatable objects in-between which a participant lays down to subsequently get lifted up and be gently squeezed between the curves of the two objects. While the lifting creates an unstable feeling, this stressful sensation is soon thereafter contrasted with the secure feeling of being gently squeezed between two soft objects. Besides this experience for participants, the installation also evokes feelings of empathy amongst bystanders who witness participants undergo the experience.

Bill Vorn

Prehysterical Machine

The Prehysterical Machine has a spherical body and eight arms made of aluminum tubing. It has a sensing system, a motor system and a control system that functions as an autonomous nervous system (entirely reactive). The machine is suspended from the ceiling and its arms are actuated by pneumatic valves and cylinders. Pyroelectric sensors allow the robot to detect the presence of viewers in the nearby environment. It reacts to the viewers according to the amount of stimuli it receives. The perceived emergent behaviors of this machine engender a multiplicity of interpretations based on single dynamic pattern of events.The aim of this project is to induce empathy of the viewer towards a “character” which is nothing more than an articulated metal structure. The strength of the simulacra is emphasized by perverting the perception of the creature, which is neither animal nor human, carried through the inevitable instinct of anthropomorphism and projection of our internal sensations, a reflex triggered by any phenomenon that challenges our senses.
FILE FESTIVAL

Ricardo Barreto and Maria Hsu

Avactor (AI)

FILE FESTIVAL
Thus, we could define computers not only as object-machines for the use of natural subjectivity, but also as machines of artificial subjectivity, in such way that the subject- machines would operate the object-machines, the same happening for automata, robots and digital avatars. However, we observe the need of another element, whose absence prevents artificial subjectivity’s manifestation. In the present moment, rather than an artificial ego or an artificial conscience, in a structuralizing sense, it must have, in a tactical sense, a persona or a personality, in sum, an actor. Without that persona, artificial subjectivity becomes a mere landscape, lacking subjective referential; without that actor, there is not empathy between artificial subjectivity and natural subjectivity. We call that artificial personality: the Avactor.