Back to:
last page

Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

Martin Spanjaard

Nowadays it's common to use the word 'intelligent' instead of this word 'able'. This is not justifiable, as is mostly the case in the wording Artificial Intelligence. I want my art-objects to react and act in non-trivial ways. Although we use our intelligence when acting in a non-trivial way, most of the existing objects and programs named 'intelligent' have abilities which are still far removed from the complex we call intelligence. Intelligence, I think, includes the notion of the ability to react - in principle in an unlimited and meaningful way, to new events. Qualities like this are yet to be constructed although neural nets bear a great promise. That's why I don't want to use the word 'intelligent' for now. Not only out of respect for its actual meaning but especially because it manipulates us too much in directions not necessary to make art, namely in trying to make really intelligent objects. Intelligence, my ass, art is about 'interestingness'. That's why: 'able'.

At this moment, computers, in the form of small cards to be installed in objects, rigged with sensors and activators, (e.g., motors, voice, light- or soundsources), form a powerful means to function as the heart of these types of objects. To describe 'Adelbrecht' in the shortest possible way: it's an anthropomorphised protozoa-robot in the form of a ball of 40 cm. It, uh, he talks about his life, his environment, people touching him, rolling him, yelling at him, petting or beating him; about the things happening in the life of a rolling ball. He confronts us with the boundaries between Being and Machine, with the crossing over of It to Him. Writing his behaviour, I function as example and source of inspiration, so he also is a partial self-portrait. He lives as a sort of anachronistic pet in an early-fifties living room of someone who for now (?) is not there. (Martin Spanjaard)