Today I noticed this MIT robotics development:
It seems to have roused a few diverse opinions and views around the interwebs. Have not however read an artistic/art perception..
In the video, I was interested by the explanation that due to the shape – cube – the robot can adapt and adjust to various tasks. (rather than being designed for a specific task performance..)
This got me wondering in various directions.. From the rather silly, punIsh link between robot cubes and cubism, through to search art and genes and epigenetics… In art we have this question of something Being a unified entity of what and how it is with how and what it is representing. I think its a rather old and traditional view.. I think it fails in terms of time – eg rhythms and when X is… I think it fails because it focuses on objects, X.. I think it fails because it is ontologically self contradictory:
If X is not a mere allegory/representation of what it is – or something else – then the very fact the approach is applied into painting as to genetics, as to performance as to films, as to sound, as to digital, and so on: can be questioned along the lines of – is painting’s Being the same as that of Performance, the same as object curation, and so on..?
The obvious reply would be “Yes – if all these are to Be/Live as art rather than other stuff”.
However, that seems like an approach that is both restricting and restrictive – as well as judgemental by focusing on art Object making. Now..
It MIGHT be – and am not arguing here otherwise – that object making as art, does necessitate the fetishising unification of form & function. However, if we shift art’s focus from object making, from projects, from objective achieving, from end result focusment to practices, processes and imaginations of searching – then perhaps, the very fact that these do not deal with ends but with beginnings, with being applicable, adaptable, transient in space-time, rhythms and cultural imaginations. Perhaps because of these interests of art that are more network(??) based than binary(??) – maybe these kind of transing being require a new kind of sensitivities in art. Sensitivities that go beyond the restrictiveness of form function unification – fetishisation, imho..
Which now brings me, appologies the round about rout, to the cube robots..
When I heard the statement regarding cubes and adaptability, I thought Yes, a bit like dna, like numbers, like atoms – very simple elements that can be adapted to all sorts.. However, just like cubism proves visually that applying a certain view blanketing everything, makes anything without significance at certain points, times and other intersections, so does the cube as an adaptable form.. A form with a specific function – to adapt – which hiding multiple functions inside it that allow this very outwardly adaptability.. The Being of the object is different to its being.. It shifts the gaze of the mask from masking as a practice..
However, that is precisely because am talking here about the Object-Cube – not the art.. Not the imagination search practice of which the adaptable cube robot – is just an instant.. A cultural collector might value A QUINT ESSENTIAL REPRESENTATION of that imagination search practice.. Perhaps as a cube that is both its form and function rather than a mask.. However, such unification, such essentialisation, is it not really a fetishisation of an object that masks the search of a particular imagination..?