Monday, January 10, 2011

IDA Project from the fall semester

I have been thinking a lot about technological advances in the 21st century and how it affects our culture today. This piece is an exploration of that idea. Check out the my website for extra pictures []

Machines are an intrinsic part of our lives. Today technology is ever more powerful, fast and efficient and people are ever more reliant on it.The cellphone is the extension of human communication capabilities, the car is the enhancement of human moving capabilities, the computer is a combination of things, i. e. it is the extension of our communication and computational abilities as well as a data storage which is an extension of our memory. The machines play a major role in the shaping of culture and science and even in the shaping of the next generations of people. Thus, the 21st century is the age of the machines in which technology is part of us and we are part of technology. In other words, the line separating what is human and what is machine is becoming increasingly thin. Ray Kurzweil writes in The Age of Spiritual Machines “...human beings will no longer be the most intelligent type of entity on the planet. Actually, let me take that back. The truth of the last statement depends on how we define human...” In other words the definition of human is malleable and constantly changing the same way that culture is. In this case what molds the definition is the emerging world of technologies. So, through this project I question the concept of what is a human and what is a machine. The project’s aim is be anchored in understanding the differences and similarities between the two, machine and human, in the way that casts light upon today’s culture.

This installation allows the viewer to become a machine and the machine to be in control of
the viewer. The work consists of a LCD screen and an arduino encased in an acrylic-glass container. I designed a system that is triggered by one’s approach and demands a response from the viewer. The LCD screen establishes a relationship with the viewer by being polite and displaying instructions for the action that needs to be taken. The instructions are very simple. It directs the viewer to write on the roll of paper installed on a pedestal underneath the LCD robot. This way the 'generator of ideas' is the computer and the executor of the tasks is the viewer. This project will highlight the contradiction of the computer’s ‘humanness’ and the human’s ‘machines.’ The computer will tell the viewer what to do, which reverses the familiar model of interaction in which the human commands the machine.

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