2024 - ONGOING

Generative Kinetic Installtion

DISSONANCE is an installation and performance project that delves into the intersection of technology and visual art. Utilizing a robotic arm, the project harnesses the potential of AI to generate images through real-time interactions. These images are then translated by custom software to guide the robotic arm, which creates an abstract expressionist visual piece on a canvas. The robotic arm, equipped with an airsoft gun loaded with solid bullets, moves within a designated three-dimensional space, marking its interaction on the canvas.

The work draws inspiration from the ancient Persian myth of Zahhak, as narrated in Ferdowsis epic poem, the Shahnamah, around 1000 AD. The legend recounts Zahhak, an evil human with two black snakes growing from his shoulders, which he must feed with the brains of young humans to prevent them from killing him. This mythological narrative is reinterpreted through a contemporary lens, substituting the snakes with technology-driven devices that, rather than destroy, create.
The project incorporates drones and robotic technology to echo their prevalent use in modern conflicts, such as the war in Ukraine, where drones are used for both surveillance and as weapons. Similarly, paintball guns are utilized by special forces in Iran to mark protesters for capture. By repurposing these technologies, the project juxtaposes their destructive potential with a creative aim, thus highlighting the psychological struggles of living in a technologically dependent era.

DISSONANCE challenges traditional approaches to art, questioning the relationship between art, culture, and society at the nexus of art, science, and technology. The project raises critical questions about the trustworthiness of technology, its negative potentials, and its impact on future generations. It explores how AI's implementation affects the creative process, using a mirror-like reflective surface that symbolizes the clean epigraph each person is believed to have at birth in Iranian culture, which gets corrupted by negative actions.
The real-time chat with AI servers is transformed into streaming images, which are processed to calculate the gun's aiming points, leading to the deformation of a sanded stainless steel surface. The resulting metal pieces are the main outcome of the project, presented separately, with the entire process showcased as a performance. An intelligent digital machine facilitates the artwork, sparking a controversial dialogue about technologys potential and the trust between humans and AI. This project raises awareness of how technology controls our lives, its misuse, and its environmental impact.

Combining the act of shooting paintballs with the robot's transformed functionality as an artist's assistant, DISSONANCE engages audiences from diverse cultural and age groups. The project invites them to rethink their privacy, trust, and dependency on technology, challenging them to consider the implications of their technological routines. The work instigates a reflection on the role of technology in contemporary life by revisiting ancient myths and integrating modern technological concerns, it bridges the past and the present, prompting a reevaluation of our relationship with technology and its influence on art and society.
The core of DISSONANCE involves a real-time interaction between the artist and an AI server. Through a continuous chat with the AI, the artist generates a stream of images using a technique known as stream diffusion. This process produces a constant flow of abstract visual data, which forms the basis of the artwork.
The generated images are fed into another costum-designed software where the images are processed and analyzed to extract key data points. This analysis determines the precise coordinates and timing for the robotic arm's movements, as well as the intervals at which the airsoft gun will fire. A robotic arm, equipped with an airsoft gun loaded with selective solid bullets, is programmed to operate within a designated three-dimensional space in front of the canvas. The data processed in software guides the robotic arm to specific positions on the canvas. The arm's movements are synchronized with the intervals for firing the airsoft gun, creating marks on the canvas that correspond to the visual data from the AI-generated images. This setup allows the artist to maintain control over the creative process while exploring the interplay between human input and machine execution.
The result is a series of abstrct expressionist visual distortions on the sanded stainless steal sheets, marked by the robotic arm's precise movements and the airsoft gun's intervals. The final metal pieces, created through this intricate process, are presented as individual artworks, while the entire creation process is showcased as a performance, emphasizing the integration of technology and art.

The project is supported by the Canada Council of Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

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