Here’s the artist having his portrait drawn by himself, in the form of five robot arms, each wielding a Bic biro and skillfully sketching on a piece of paper pinned to an old school desk.
This is the private view of the latest work from Patrick Tresset. There are five robots on show, all called Paul, and they draw the face of the person seated in a big chair in front of them. Paul number four, at the back of the class, is a little willful, he will sometimes scribble all over his work before it is finished. Patrick programmed the Pauls and spends most of the evening in the chair, enjoying the spotlight while keeping a close eye on his unruly robotic pupils.
James McArthur and I, meanwhile, are in the corner, playing robot music to soundtrack the event. James is using vinyl records played on record decks. I am using digital files played on imaginary decks on my iPhone. It’s the first time I have DJed using a phone, but it seems appropriate for this human meets machine evening. Kraftwerk, Phuture and Sensate Focus feel like they work, as well as some more obscure deep techno and post house.
We spin music that sounds like machines; the robots draw pictures of faces like humans.