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Vida 9.0 and Artbot Gent

By Rhizome

Robot maniacs and fans of artificial intelligence, rejoice! The list of the winners of Vida 9.0, Art & Artificial Life International Competition is online (congratualtion to Andy.) So is the casting of the upcoming Artbot, it will be held in Gent on December 2 and 3. And if you're in the neighbourhood join us at Art+Game, a series of conferences, screenings, performances and exhibitions about game culture in Brussels, Dec. 1-4.

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The images above show a work by US/ Taiwan artist Shih Chieh Huang, EX-DD-06. Prefabricated electronics are stripped down and then recombined in a way which is at once familiar, and alienated by a playful recontextualisation where they are made to interact with one another, and with the spectators.

For example, by linking an automatic light switch to video footage of the artist's eye, the relationship established between human blinking and a flashing light bulb appears both oddly logical and deeply poetic. When movements of multiplied eyeball images on a video screen are used to control inflatable plastic tubes and coloured lights connected to the monitor, the resultant creature seems to live a life of its own. All 'organs' of the creatures inhabiting this interactive space are deliberately kept transparent through the use of different kinds of plastics. Paradoxically, this legibility of their 'bodily' functions makes them still more mysterious and biologically convincing, like luminescent jellyfish.

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