Isea 2022 - Possibles



June 13 to 16

Artwork / RNR Project

Authors: Patrick Tresset


What if a portrait drawing robot observed us with a different perceptual system? What will it learn from us? Would it affect our experience during to sketching session? How will it draw?



Venue: CCCB

More information:

Venue: Hall basement 1 CCCB (ISEA2022 Barcelona: from June 13 to 16, from 11 am to 8 pm)
Also, CCCB – Exhibition room (Exhibition BRAIN(S): from July 26 to December 11)

  • Abstract: In the award-winning Human Study #1 series of performative installations, a human is drawn live by several robots during a 20-minute session, Both audiences and participants often mention the robot’s attention as a striking element. It is conceived as such, a camera mounted on the pan and tilt system enables the robot to observe the sitter with tiny saccades, occasionally comparing with the drawing, and most of the time following the pen’s movements. Although these movements are theatrical, they effectively convey a character and give the impression of the system paying attention to the human in an animal mammal-like way. Furthermore, the robot’s eye following the pen’s movement gives the impression that it is looking at what it is doing.

    I have been researching a forthcoming series of installations for the past three years, including developing a new robot (RNR). Instead of being strongly influenced by human behaviour that is perceived as familiar like the human study #1 robots, I am exploring ways to make it [RNR] perceived as alien, unfamiliar, and foreign.

    The RNR is an intermediary work, where I will specifically explore how having a robot looking at us with a different unfamiliar perceptual system affects our perception of it. As an animal, if attention is directed toward us, it needs to be evaluated instantly: can we eat it? Is it going to eat us? As humans, the way we are observed triggers a wealth of emotions. What if we can’t decode the intention of the observer? And what will the robot draw if it sees differently?

    The aim for the final installation would be for the emotions in the human being drawn during ten-minute performances to progressively move from unsettled to intrigued, reassured, captivated, and charmed.

  • Biography: Patrick Tresset is a Brussels-based artist who, in his work, explores human traits and the aspects of human experience. He is best known for his performative installations using robotic agents as stylized actors that make marks and for his exploration of the drawing practice using computational systems and robots.

    After working as a painter for 15 years, he attended Goldsmiths College, London, for a master’s degree and then an MPhil in arts and computational technologies. Aside from his artistic practice, in 2013, he was a senior visiting research fellow at Konstanz University and is currently an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Canberra.

    Since 2011, his work has been exhibited in solo and group shows, including in association with major museums such as; The Pompidou Center (Paris), Prada Foundation (Milan), Tate Modern (London), V&A, MMCA (Seoul), The Grand Palais (Paris), BOZAR (Brussels), TAM (Beijing), Mcam (Shanghai), Mori Museum (Tokyo).

This project has been awarded with the ISEA2022 Barcelona Grant by .Beep Collection and NewArtFoundation


  • CCCB

Montalegre, 5 - 08001 Barcelona

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