CHRISTA SOMMERER & LAURENT MIGNONNEAU

Life Writer

source: tecnoartenews

O casal de artistas Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau criaram a “Life writer” . “Life writer” é uma máquina de escrever antiga que foi transformada em uma interface para computador onde as pessoas podem interagir usando as funções normais de uma máquina de escrever. Quando um texto é escrito ele é transformado em pequenos insetos que aparecem no papel como se tivessem saído do teclado da máquina. Essas criaturas movem-se pelo papel tentando encontrar texto para se alimentar, multiplicar e sobreviver.
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source: www02zkmde

Life Writer is an old-fashioned typewriter that was transformed into a computer interface, where users can interact using the normal functions of the machine. It stands on an old table with a projection from above oriented directly onto the paper. This creates the impression of the paper becoming the computer screen, since the movement of the typewriter’s paper tray is seamlessly linked with the movement of the projected image. When a user writes text on this typewriter, the text transforms into artificial life forms that appear on the paper of the typewriter as if directly emerging from the machine. These spider-like creatures run around frenetically trying to find text to eat. When the user types some more letters, the creatures will quickly snap it up, and once they have eaten enough text, they will reproduce and fill the whole surface of the paper. The user can also kill the creatures by pushing them off the paper or squeezing them back into the machine. The creatures are programmed with genetic algorithms, so they are semi-autonomous and follow their own internal rules of metabolization and reproduction. The whole process of writing text on Life Writer becomes a process of giving life to thoughts and having thoughts themselves evolve, escape and reconfigure.
Life Writer is an extraordinary project, not only in the application of new technologies to sculptural form and in combining old and new technology through a media archaeological interface; it is also an example of an art form in which interactive art begins to evolve towards a “living art” in itself. The creation and manipulation of fascinating visual images in an interactive environment where participants also engage in the act of creation raises fundamental questions about human interaction with increasingly “intelligent” machines and possible levels of human-machine symbiosis.
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source: nouveauxmediasnet

Christa Sommerer est autrichienne durant que Laurent Mignonneau est français. Depuis 1991, les deux artistes conçoivent ensemble des créations interactives dont “Life Writer” de 2006. Il s’agit d’une vieille machine à écrire sur laquelle le public est invité à frapper du texte qui apparaît, par projection vidéo, sur une feuille de papier tout ce qu’il a de plus normal. Mais les lettres formant la ligne saisie par le visiteur se transforment en autant de créatures artificielles dès lors que ce dernier actionne le retour chariot. Les caractères typographiques ont ainsi été convertis en des algorithmes génétiques qui déterminent les comportements des bestioles qui s’animent sur le papier. Tourner le rouleau vers l’intérieur et elles sont broyées par l’étrange machine, vers l’extérieur et elles sont évacuées en dehors de la feuille. Saisir d’autres caractères revient à les nourrir. La vitesse de leurs déplacements, lorsqu’elles viennent chercher l’énergie typographique dont elles dépendent, trahit une faim apparemment insatiable. Et comme toutes les créatures terrestres, elles finissent par se reproduire pour envahir la feuille de papier qui s’avère alors trop petite !