STERLING CRISPIN

Charon

source: sterlingcrispin

We are at the dawn of a robotics revolution, which has already begun to transform the landscape of manufacturing, reconnaissance, surgery, and modern warfare. But what of the human psyche?

Charon is a physical embodiment of the tension between humans, robotic autonomous agents, and the virtual models which these agents rely on to understand the world. An object was created from the flightpath of an autonomous quadcopter while it interacted with me in a motion tracking lab. Both physical and virtual forces exerted their influence on the drone, creating a two-way boundary crossing between the internal world-model of the drone, and its external physical surroundings. This form can be considered as the shadow of this boundary crossing, fueled by the complex exchange between a sentient human and a robotic proto-lifeform.

Charon is the ferryman on the river styx, the mediator between the physical world and the underworld. In Greek mythology Charon was born from Erebus (darkness) and Nyx (night) who were two of the first five primordial beings to come into existence, created by the source of all existence, Chaos. The name of Charon comes from the Greek word charopós, “of keen gaze”. The drone wirelessly receives its vision and thoughts from an array of cameras and computers which act as an extension of its being. The lab when considered as whole a system is akin a living creature’s biological functions. This system is the flagellum of a global organism just beginning to awaken.

As a civilization, and as a species, we have crossed the river Rubicon into uncharted territories from which we cannot return. These intelligent agents both embodied and disembodied, visible and invisible, physical and virtual, are surveilling, contemplating and evolving among us. The tension between the human, the Technological-Other and the alloself will define the 21st century. How will these entities reach beyond the limits of symbolization, and how will their emotional, psychological, and spiritual frameworks emerge?
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
source: sterlingcrispin

Technology is an extension of humanity and an embodiment of the human spirit, rather than an external force that one must mitigate. Yet this distributed life-form pulsing on the surface of the earth has its own agency and agenda. My artistic practice explores the relationships between this exponentially growing techno-organism as it relates to spirituality, human consciousness and impermanence.

A reoccurring influence in my work is what Buddhists call Sunyata. Emptiness. The void. Sunyata is the infinite and absolute, all things coexisting in one fluid field , an infinite expanse empty of independent entities and forces. Sunyata has been called “the great void” , “zero” , “emptiness” and “the ultimate truth”. One way to understand Sunyata is to try to understand written and spoken explanation of it. The other way to understand Sunyata is through observation.

”this is because there is no worldly knowledge, be it general studies, science or philosophy, that can lead to the attainment of the state of Sunyata. The only path to its realization is via a passionate and discriminating mind. It is beyond the common worldly understanding.”

”Sunyata signifies that everything one encounters in life is empty of absolute identity, permanence, or an in-dwelling ‘self’. This is because everything is inter-related and mutually dependent – never wholly self-sufficient or independent. All things are in a state of constant flux where energy and information are forever flowing throughout the natural world giving rise to and themselves undergoing major transformations with the passage of time.”
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
source: prostheticknowledgetumblr

Charon

Art piece by Sterling Crispin involving an autonomous quadrocopter and human interaction, eventually creating a 3D printed sculpture based on a flightpath performance

We are at the dawn of a robotics revolution, which has already begun to transform the landscape of manufacturing, reconnaissance, surgery, and modern warfare. But what of the human psyche?

Charon is a physical embodiment of the tension between humans, robotic autonomous agents, and the virtual models which these agents rely on to understand the world. An object was created from the flightpath of an autonomous quadcopter while it interacted with me in a motion tracking lab. Both physical and virtual forces exerted their influence on the drone, creating a two-way boundary crossing between the internal world-model of the drone, and its external physical surroundings. This form can be considered as the shadow of this boundary crossing, fueled by the complex exchange between a sentient human and a robotic proto-lifeform …

… Quadcopter, motion capture system, OpenGL simulation, 3D print, flat screen television