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January 09, 2005

Three by Thomas Charveriat


Animatronic Installations

The Machine Manifesto is an interactive musical performance that reflects upon the relationship between human beings and machines. It is composed of a series of mechanical musical instruments or automatons, and directed by an orchestral conductor. The instruments--programmed to perform independent tasks--follow the commands sent by the conductor via image recognition software. Machine Manifesto reflects the existing asymmetry between humans and machines (conductor and instruments), and provides an ironic look on the privileged position of machines in our society.


Light Activated Faces: A torch flashed at a square panel standing vertically on the floor, produces the sound of human onomatopoeias which vary depending on the area onto which the light is projected. Nine different grimaces are depicted on this photographic panel. Each facial expression becomes visible by means of a light box mechanism, whenever the flashlight points at it. A corresponding onomatopoeia is then produced by a sound sampler. The effect is a large human chorus conducted by the action of a flashlight.


Telephones: Artificial intelligence is a rapidly developing area of scientific research. Many jobs formerly held by humans are now being done by computers, often by "bots" (computer generated intelligent entities that present themselves as human in order to perform tasks for others). One field where this has become common is automated phone service. This piece illustrates the computer's potential by replacing live person on a sex phone line with voices created by a computer. In it, twelve different computer-generated personalities have intimate conversations.

Thomas Charveriat (Paris, 1974) lives and works in Barcelona, Spain. Studied photography at the School of Visual Arts(SVA)and afterwards obtained a master degree in sculpture from Columbia University. Both schools are located in New York City. After finishing his studies in New York, he moved to Barcelona, where he obtained a master degree in digital arts at the Pompeu Fabra University. He has won a number of scholarships and prizes. He has participated in collective art exhibitions in New York, Paris and Barcelona since 1998. At the moment, Thomas Charveriat creates animatronic installations with GPS, SMS, video, sound, electronic data and humor that interact with the viewer in a peculiar environment, where the complexity and elegance are combined to create sensorial ambiguity associated with an atmosphere of vulnerability and apprehension.

Posted by jo at January 9, 2005 11:59 AM