The first of RealTime’s video coverage of ISEA2013. Guest video artist Mike Leggett in conversation with Mari Velonaki, Simon Ingram and Petra Gemeinboeck & Rob Saunders exhibiting at Artspace, Sydney, 2 May – 16 June, 2013.
Three installations with robotics as common ground approach this growing area of gallery art in distinct ways.
Mari Velonaki’s ‘The Woman and the Snowman’ responds to the advanced humanoid robotic research of Prof Hiroshi Ishiguro in Osaka by incorporating the artificial with large projections of real places and small renderings of images taken from personal histories. Within the swirling arcs of a kinetic machine are hidden narratives of mountain living, robotic skiers and long lost movies accompanied by layers of sound, responsive to their machinations. An innovator in the Field Robotics Lab at the University of Sydney, Mari relates the complexities and challenges of interdisciplinary art making.
Simon Ingram’s use of Lego robotic components to make three large scale paintings over the period of the exhibition is a collaboration with the staff of Artspace who are able to affect the software Simon operates from his base in Auckland, New Zealand. A painter by background, since 2007 he has ‘ developed a way of working to build on and collaborate with abstract problems inherent in both the history of painting and a range of attempts to plot living systems and electromagnetic energy.’
Petra Gemeinboeck and Rob Saunders ‘Accomplice’ incorporates machine learning with audience experience of the mechanical destruction of the walls of the gallery. The robots – only glimpsed as they hammer holes from the other side – communicate and plan the next days work during the hours the gallery is closed. This is where AI (artificial intelligence) and wider dialogues about the role of robotic technology meet in a public arena, versed in the histories of destruction in art.