A web-based exhibition of the Dear artwork by Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, for the ICRA-X Robotics & Art Program, from June 1 (12 AM GMT) to June 4 (11: 59 PM GMT) at https://www.icrax2020.org
Art Tease is a web-based exhibition offering a remote yet live experience with an emblematic artwork by renowned Chinese artists Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, exhibited behind closed doors in their Beijing studio, as part of the ICRA-X Robotics & Art Program of ICRA (International Conference on Robotics and Automation), the world’s largest conference on robotics. A year ago, Dear (2015) by artists Sun Yuan and Peng Yu was presented at the 58th Venice Biennale. It is now exhibited within the confines of the artists’ studio in Beijing. It is nonetheless accessible to all via a dedicated platform giving live online access to this artwork’s oddly unpredictable behavior. For four days, from June 1 to 4, the Dear installation continuously self-activates for us during the online edition of ICRA, by means of an apparatus designed to make artworks remotely present thanks to the dedicated ICRA-X 2020 platform: https://www.icrax2020.org.
During the experience, viewers discover an impressively large armchair fitted with a kind of long lash. In response to blasts of highly pressurized air, the armchair violently whips itself as well as the surrounding area. Dear (2015) takes on both material and symbolic power by implementing an apparatus based on a future-oriented form of robotic technology, soft robotics. Far from representing a typically “virtual” exhibition, this is about enabling audiences to physically sense the material and embodied nature of an artwork of this kind. Art Tease offers a chance to exhibit this artwork via an original distance-based real-time apparatus with a dedicated interface: a window opens onto the exhibition space, accompanied by spatialized sound transmission.
The use of real-time technology helps compensate for the spatial distance involved, thereby echoing or even responding to the current social situation. Presented as part of the ICRA-X Robotics & Art Program, featuring an original approach based on exploring encounters between robotics research and contemporary artistic creation, Art Tease is intended to offer a new exhibition format aligned with the current global health crisis. Building on its research into new “publicization” formats, EnsadLab’s Reflective Interaction Research Group collaborated with the two Chinese artists in developing and “interfacing” this dedicated exhibition system enabling audiences to discover a robotic artwork by sensing its presence despite the distance.
Sun Yuan & Peng Yu are Beijing-based artists who have become internationally renowned for their challenging, audacious and provocative artworks, often involving the staging of visceral and disturbing sights. Their recent works are characterized by a determination to engage with spectators by likewise effectively setting the scene for their gaze and their voyeuristic stance. Reflective Interaction is an art and design research group whose work focuses mainly on interaction as a means of implementation and assessment: why and how to explore artistic interactive “dispositifs” articulating aesthetic, symbolic and operative dimensions that engender sensitive and reflective experiences relating to societal and environmental issues?
Art Tease is the online exhibition of ICRA-X Robotics & Art Program led by the Reflective Interaction Research Group of EnsadLab, the Laboratory of the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (EnsAD – PSL University, Paris), under the responsibility of Samuel Bianchini (Chair of this program) and co-curated by Emanuele Quinz and Xiaoying Juliette Yuan. This project benefits from the support of the Arts & Sciences Chair of the École polytechnique, the EnsAD – PSL and the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation and the collaboration of the Galleria Continua (San Gimignano/Beijing/Les Moulins/Habana/Roma). ICRA-X Robotics & Art Program is produced as part of ICRA 2020 (International Conference on Robotics and Automation), an IEEE conference under the responsibility of Stéphane Régnier (General Chair) with Sinan Haliyo, for the Institut des systèmes intelligents et de robotique (ISIR | Sorbonne University – CNRS).