In the format of a performative installation visitors could spend intimate moments with the swarm.
Through the setting in a completely dark space humans got soaked into the swirling light pool of robotic creatures. Taking off their shoes and being very careful visitors made first contact with this new species, that shares motion and behaviors, positions in space and a changing need for closeness and distance as a mutual language. Sometimes scared to be run over by a storm of giant humans, sometimes angry about this lack of space, but most often friendly, playful and totally curious about the humans.
Interacting, meditating, playing rough and dancing smoothly – we received a lot of great feedback about the man-machine bonding time of the people of Wroclaw and our Empathy Swarm. We got especially touched by a young boy who came repeatedly, feeling responsible for the robots and talking about nothing else to his mom until they came back.
It was great to explore and experiment at Grotowski Institute in the center of Wroclaw’s lovely old town! We enjoyed being part of the multitude of fantastic art, events and performances all over the city, meeting old and new friends and celebrating the 30th anniversary of WRO!
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through
the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
The work is coproduced at Kontejner within the framework of EMAP / EMARE and co-funded by Creative Europe.
Visitors could get into the role of swarm robots to experience being part of an emergent system. In this playful workshop they could learn the rules and parameters that are the foundations of emotional swarm behavior. From this understanding they afterwards could generate and design their own behaviors for the robots in real-time with a custom-made ‘swarm behavior synthesizer’. Thinking about 7 different emotions – happy – sad – neutral – angry – surprised – afraid – disgusted – the behaviors they generated will become part of the data set for the robots emotional responses.
We had a lot of interest, great discussions and nice feedback with and from visitors while exhibiting the Swarm at the IMPAKT zone of the festival.
Emotional swarm robots of Empathy Swarm interact with the guests of Zagreb’s Museum of Contemporary Art and proof that Machines are not alone.
The robots and us experienced exciting days: from the robot’s first contact to strangers at the opening on Tuesday to a vivid discussion on ‘Autonomous relations: actions, reactions & tangled sovereign systems’ with artists Luiz Zanotello and Ralf Becker on Thursday and our final goodbye to the robots on Friday, who will now stay till 3. February 2019 all by themselves. Crazy to see the little ones grow up and become independent 🙂
We also want to thank KONTEJNER again for their hospitality and precious help setting up! We always feel very welcome in Zagreb and like part of the big Kontejner famiiy! ♥
An intense week setting up Empathy Swarm for the very first time, with a great outcome 🙂
The swarm is keeping the memories of what it means to be human and its interpretation of human feelings and social behaviours, alive in – A world without us.
After a fantastic opening on Friday, we joined a panel discussion on Saturday with the other EMAP/EMARE artists Taavi Suisalu, Anna Dumitriu and Alex May, discussing how our works take part in a future scenario that we try to avoid.
Thanks IMPAKT for hospitality, support and intriguing ideas!