Since that much awaited regular annual event stopped appearing at the Lowry, its temporary exhibitions have always been a bit hit or miss for me.
This recent exhibition 'The State of Us' was a hit.
"From grotesque to the wonderful, these digital artists examine how the body and self are transformed, manipulated, reinvented and reshaped to create a new ‘self’, to reshape our human connection – ....We have become engineers of our own humanity. Through intervention we are seeing the imbalance of ‘truth’ in the definition of what we are."
I was particularly interested in Patrick Tresset's installation : 'HUMAN STUDY #1, RNP' where human sitters are drawn by a robot.
"In this installation the human visitor is sketched by a robot, in a scene reminiscent of a life drawing class. When the sitter arrives by appointment, they are seated in a chair as an assistant attaches a sheet of paper onto the robots’ desks and wakes the robot up.
The robot, a minimal stylised shape of an artist, is only capable of drawing obsessively. Its body is an old school desk onto which a sheet of paper is placed. A mechanical left arm, bolted on to the table, holds a black Bic biro. Its eye is a camera which focuses alternately on the sitter and the drawing in progress. Over time the completed drawings cover the gallery’s walls."
"Patrick Tresset is a Brussels based artist who develops theatrical installations with robotic agents as actors. Tresset’s installations use computational systems that aim to introduce artistic, expressive and obsessive aspects to robots’ behaviour. These systems are influenced by research into human behaviour, more specifically how humans make marks, depict other humans, how we perceive artworks and relate to robots."
source Patrick Tresset Biography from artist's website