Screen, telepresence of small machines.


05.02.03 Screen, telepresence of small machines.

The possibilities offered by telepresence on the web, that is, by the ability to manipulate objects from any distance through a browser interface, are still mostly unexplored by the electronic artists. Although only sporadically active, one of the few examples of art which fulfils itself in remote ‘physical’ interaction is Screen, by Brad Todd. An open building serves as the frame to the contents, interactive or not, arranged within it according to a harmonious layout of shapes and meanings. A subdivision of the space separates the robotic servomechanisms which control the visible events in a microtheatre where enigmatic elements live together: the watering of a small plant (a quotation from the fundamental Telegarden, by Ken Goldberg) and of a piece of bread which generates mould (a tiny ecosystem), the activation of small circular wires, similar to those used to hang one’s clothes, which move the wings of a butterfly on one side and an old picture of an airplane on the other, and the controlling of a little drawing machine which draws circles on one of the walls. A microcosm populated by objects near to one another, as on a shelf, in an unknown place and therefore, for all purposes, ‘virtual’.