8 Nov 2017 — 10 Nov 2017

Launch 9 Nov 6pm – 8pm

VENUE: UNSW, Art and Design, Paddington Campus The Black Box Theatre, D Block

Re/pair is a living lab contemplating the anxiety of feeling unanswered in an interactive world. Feelings of frustration and rejection are here addressed with interactive technology, specifically creative robotics, allowing us to “Re/Pair” communication between humans and machines.

Curated by Deborah Turnbull Tillman, Re/Pair presents experimental projects by some of Australia’s leading robotic artists.

Mari Velonaki – When I will visit again, 2017

When I will visit again is a prototype mnemonic device utilised by dementia patients in care homes. The art installation as a testing site consists of the bed and side table of such a patient, featuring an interactive device that reminds the user of when their loved one will return. The carer can send reminders of when s/he will next visit their loved one through the device, and includes reminders of Tomorrow and Today. Where the patient knows that forgetfulness is part of their condition, they knowingly experience both forgetting and remembering that they forgot. A software embedded in their familiar surrounds evokes a feeling of dignity and privacy for the user.

Petra Gemeinboeck & Rob Saunders – Machine Movement Lab: Becoming Body, 2017

An cube-like object slowly swivels on one of its corners, and when a visitor comes close, the cube lifts up, as if it had a skirt, and wiggles around, then seems to hesitate and twists up with a slight inclination, before it came to a sudden halt. Machine Movement Lab: Becoming Body, featuring a robotic cube, explores the capacity of movement to transform an object, how it can open up a ‘thing’ for becoming-body. Machine Movement Lab is an ongoing research project, investigating the potential of movement, and dance in particular, for reimagining how machines look, move, learn and affect us. At the core of the project is a new design method for abstract robotic forms (non-humanlike or animal-like) that harnesses dancers’ movement expertise to develop a robot’s ability to take on a presence and bring about relations with their surrounds.

Dancers in photo: Tess de Quincey and Kirsten Packham, De Quincey Co.    

This research is supported by the Australian Research Council Discovery scheme (DP160104706)

Tricia Flanagan – Generative Textile System, 2015

Generative Textile Systems provokes an alternative dialogue found at the intersection of multi-layered networks and industrial robotics systems, rethinking current mass produced ready to wear systems of production.

Rochelle Haley and Sang-won Leigh – Vicarious Movement: a human-machine drawing collaboration, 2017

Vicarious Movement: a human-machine drawing collaboration is the workshopping of a drone spray-painting as a proxy for human hand drawing in collaboration with researcher Sang-won Leigh at the MIT Media Lab.

Wade Marynowsky & Julian Knowles – Synthesiser-Robot (Synth-Bot), 2017

Synthesizer-Robot (Synth-Bot), is a repurposed industrial robot arm (UR3), programed to play a musical score via a hardware-software interface (Ableton Push). As well as playing music, Synth-Bot has shown that dance-like movement and gestural behaviours can expand the meaning of musical gesture. Synth-bot is an early stage prototype for a major robotic band project that investigates how humans perceive robotic agency. By adding band members into the mix the project seeks to expand on the emergent field of robotic bands, by creating an improvising, robotic techno band of up to four members.

We argue that through the application of machine learning algorithms, the band will be able to create ‘original’ music and thus, contribute to the creation of culture. Over time the music will become ever-evolving and self generative, enabled when band members are able to listen and respond to each other over a network. Reciprocity will also be communicated to each robot physically, through ‘robotic-musical gesture’, highlighting human-like social interaction within the group. The project aim is to extend the concept of ‘Robotic musicianship’ and to develop novel approaches to live robotic musical composition and performance.

The Synth-bot project  is supported by Macquarie University.


Artist Biography

Mari Velonaki

Mari Velonaki is an award-winning artist and researcher whose work is situated in the fields of Social Robotics and Interactive Art. Velonaki has made significant contributions in the areas of Social Robotics, Media Art and Human-Machine Interface Design. Since 1997 she has created interactive installations that incorporate movement, speech, touch, breath, electrostatic charge, artificial vision, and has designed three robots.

Petra Gemeinboeck

Petra Gemeinboeck is an artist and researcher who currently works across the areas of creative robotics, performance and feminist theory. Her creative practice explores our entanglements with machines and makes tangible the vulnerabilities and politics involved.

Rob Saunders

Rob Saunders’ primary research interest is the development of computational models of creativity. The development of computational models of creative processes provides opportunities for developing a better understanding human creativity, producing tools that support human creativity and possibly creating autonomous systems capable of creative activity.

Tricia Flanagan

Tricia Flanagan’s work has, at its foundation, a systems thinking approach. Her practice includes site-specific sculpture, social sculpture, sculptural installation, wearables and performance installation and is published in numerous books and journals.

Rochelle Haley

Rochelle Haley is an artist and researcher working with experimental drawing, movement and spatial performance practice. Her current projects involve live drawing and dance to explore space structured around the sensation of the moving body.

Sang-won Leigh

Sang-won Leigh explores the blend of the physical and the digital, humans and machines to research alternate notions of the reality and the human body. He is a PhD candidate at the Fluid Interfaces Group, MIT Media Lab, working with Professor Pattie Maes.

Wade Marynowsky

Wade Marynowsky is an artist and researcher specialising in experimental art practice, contributing to the emergent fields of Social and Cultural Robotics. His main body of work investigates the notion of robotic performance agency, by challenging notions of classical spectatorship and performance. Through the use humour, camp and a host of unnerving thematics he addresses issues relevant to our ever increasing technological society. He has designed numerous interactive robotic art works for exhibitions and performances that constantly defy traditional concepts of how robots should act and behave. His work has received significant critical praise and recognition both nationally and abroad.

Julian Knowles

Julian Knowles is a composer and performer, specialising in new and emerging technologies. His creative work spans the fields of composition for theatre, dance, film and television, electronic music, sound and new media arts, popular music and record production.