Tweet! Artefact

So minus points for execution, but in unjustifiable defence, there were some (jumbled) ideas behind this artefact, a quick Google of the words arte- and artifact resulting in …

Artifact: An object produced or shaped by human craft, especially a tool, weapon, or ornament of archaeological or historical interest. Artefact: An artificial product or effect observed in a natural system, especially one introduced by the technology used in scientific investigation or by experimental error.

… with experimental error being the most applicable definition in my case.

It was a bit of an assemblage – the robot dressed in cyberpunk clothes was actually supposed to be painting (it’s a brush, not a gun), having learned how from a YouTube clip of a human teacher and a video of robotic arms painting cars. My gender-unspecific robot (call it Ex) has screwdrivers grafted to it’s arms to symbolise our entwined relationship with tools as opposed to an instrumentalist view of them. Ex was spray painted gold because I didn’t have silver, although I do have a glittery patio now, but Ex is supposed to be a robot, more like Gumdrop as it has endearing human qualities such as a love of dancing and self-improving hobbies. Ex is painting Ren√© Magritte’s La Condition Humaine which is about what constitutes reality and the representation of it (humans and their doppelgangers?) and about boundaries. And the creature was there¬†because it resonates with my post on Companion Species and thoughts of robot animals used to further our understanding of wildlife as well as our very human drive to make money and to adore our pets.

4 thoughts on “Tweet! Artefact

  1. mthies

    Wow Cathy, what a wonderfully creative piece of stop action EDC mastery! Wish I had thought of something as good as this. Well done. I like your explanations too – I wonder how it would be interpreted without what you have written? It would be interesting to hear what other EDC’ers would make of it. For instance the comment about the item Ex is holding being a brush and not a gun(which I originally thought it was before reading your description) makes for a very different interpretation.Great work.

  2. chills Post author

    Hi Myles, thanks for your comment. I think you have hit the nail on the head when you ask how it might have been interpreted without the words! I think it was very poorly executed and it does need the commentary although it shouldn’t. I would like to blame the technology but it was entirely down to this particular human/machine assemblage!

  3. cmiller

    Loved it. Only the coldest of cold hearts wouldn’t have a soft spot for some stop motion animation.

    If life can be broken down in to a series of ones and noughts, can everything we see be considered, recorded and analysed frame-by-frame?

    I’m reminded of the android in the Twighlight Zone clip posted by Philip in his artifact.

  4. jknox

    Great work here Cathy! Stop frame use have taken you ages!

    Nice to see that you’ve looked into the meaning of artefact here, show a really considered approach to the task. Your visual artefact is full of symbolism, which makes it rich with meaning, precisely what we would want to see in a visual artefact I think.

    I definitely picked up on the gender specific characterisation of the robot (I viewed it before looking at your explanation), which seemed to be an important comment on the ways our technology development never seems to escape our gender norms. I didn’t immediately recognise the Magritte, but certainly got a sense of the surrealist scene your creating here. Whether the painting of the window was a painting or a window seemed to be a central question, signalling perhaps the ‘virtual world’ ideas related to cybercultues, and perhaps a possibility of escape (or not) from the confines of the small room. The contrast between the window landscape and the screen seemed important too, and the robot seemed to be looking at the screen rather than out of the ‘window’.

    Confinement came across strongly for me, also in the sense that the robot is fixed to a particular point. It seems to be trying to express identity and culture, but is locked to a specific spot, within a confined room. Perhaps a comment here on the authenticity of ‘virtual’ life?

    Nice work Cathy, a very thought provoking piece!


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