Alone Together, the robotic absence of a female body


How can robots critically assist painting (even unaware)? “alone together” by Addie Wagenknecht is a series of “mechanically assisted paintings”. A custom algorithm-led and modified iRobot Roomba paints with a blue colour on a canvas. By its own nature it is trying to reach every part of it, but it is repeatedly hitting Wagenknecht’s reclined nude body. Explicitly referencing Yves Klein’s “Anthropométries” the artist is subtracting the performative female body of the original work from the scene, letting the robot, instead, depict its absence, despite its own programmed nature (map the whole territory). The original induced exhibitionism leaves room to an invisible presence, a “void” that silently reclaims her own space. The ’unprocessed’ part of the canvas is a (re)conquered territory for her subjectivity. Photo credit: John Berens