Human Study#1, From a Distance

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25 June 2020 to 5 July 2020

Human Study#1, from a Distance at the Virtual National Arts FestivalHuman Study#1, From a Distance, installation and performance in which the human becomes an actor. In a scene reminiscent of a life drawing class, the human takes the sitter’s role to be sketched by three robots.

The machines, minimal stylised artists, are only capable of drawing obsessively. Their bodies are old school desks on which the drawing paper is pinned. The drawing sessions last 20 minutes, during which time the human cannot see the drawings in progress. The sitter only sees the robots alternating between observing and drawing, sometimes pausing. For the spectators, the sitter is an integral part of the installation.

The robots were initially developed by Patrick Tresset to alleviate a debilitating painter’s block. Tresset is a Brussels-based artist who develops performative art installations with robotic agents as stylised actors. Even if the way the robot draws is based on Tresset’s technique, its style is not a pastiche but rather an interpretation influenced by the robot’s characteristics. Tresset continually works on the computational system controlling the robot’s drawing behaviour, and for each exhibition, the systems are tuned again until they produce interesting drawings. Using autonomous robots to draw from observation enables Tresset to further his exploration of the drawing practice.

Venue: Online
Time: Daily from 1pm to 5pm
Cost: Day Pass R80 | Full Festival Pass R500 | Full Jazz Pass R600

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