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Pascal Glissmann, Martina Höfflin

Electronic life forms

Pascal Glissmann, Martina Höfflin

Affiliation: Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Parsons The New School for Design

Keywords: Electronics, Handcraft, Artificial Life 

Conference activity: Pop Up Exhibition Trelissick House

Project summary:

Electronic-life-forms inhabit the intersection of technology, art & science to explore the shifting transition from smart objects to autonomous subjects through digital and electronic craft.

Democratised technology and global accessibility redefine 21st century artistic production. New technologies in combination with the storytelling of artificial life motivated this investigation of the characteristics of life and the way we perceive them. The narratives of Prometheus, Golem and Frankenstein have captivated human beings, and a fascination for high tech robotics, and earlier representations like the Automata of the 18th Century, is ongoing. The Electronic-life-forms project assimilates these ideas combining modern digital production processes with aspects of traditional handcraft into a series of site-specific installations. The work uses a range of materials: solar cells, simple electronic circuits, crafted wires and components, and digitally manufactured circuit boards. Installations are developed through a creative investigative process of material and production entrepreneurship: high-tech digital techniques that demand long term preparations and iterative cycles of prototyping are complemented with remarkable slow and strenuous periods of handcraft. These repetitive, almost lethargic, production phases mirror the core question of the project: what defines a living system and how osmotic is the thin membrane between nature and the artificial today?

A question that arises from your project: What defines a living system and how osmotic is the thin membrane between nature and the artificial today?