[ISEA2022] Paper: Guillaume Slizewicz & Sandy Claes — The Weird, the Cute and the Dark: How to Account for Aesthetics When Working on Awareness about Design Patterns


Short paper, theme: Humans and NonHumans: Aesthetic experience and speculation
Venue: CCCB, date: June 14

Keywords: robots, cuteness, weirdness, vernacular,interest-triggering

This paper presents the design and set up of the robotic media arts installation ‘Accept All’, a robotic performance in which 5 small robots with a limited intelligence follow the spectators around the exhibition like an embodied representation of the monitoring scripts that are present on our phones and tablets.

We discuss how this art piece bears legacy of previous work in both media arts as the academic field of Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI), and touches upon contemporary topics of political awareness, trust and data representation. Accept All covers five different aesthetic design choices for robot design, each contributing to the topic in its own way. The last part of the paper proposes to explore the paradoxical stance that media artists have to adopt when dealing with issues such as dark patterns.

  • Guillaume Slizewicz is a designer living in Brussels, Belgium. He is a member of Tropozone, Algolit and Urban Species. He focuses on the surprise created by misused hardware systems, the poetry of algorithms and the contact points between technology and the environment. His practice is about translating and making visible social issues via installations and artworks. His prototyping and creation process involves machine learning, electronics and digital fabrication. While each project is different, they convey interrogations and explorations through aesthetically pleasing and exciting forms, most of the time interactive. In his projects, Guillaume Slizewicz usually collaborates with other artists, researchers and designers to make sure multiple points of view and types of information on the subject at hand are taken into account. In the previous years, he worked on several topics including surveillance technologies, air quality, automatic language processing and the relationship between humans and plants. https://studio.guillaumeslizewicz.com
  • Sandy Claes currently holds a faculty position at LUCA School of Arts (Brussels, Belgium). In her research work, she focuses on the overlap between media, technology and public space. Previously, she has worked as a lead user researcher at the innovation department of public broadcaster VRT. Sandy received her PhD in Engineering Science (2017) from the KU Leuven university in Belgium with her work on public visualization. Her research work has been published at international, peer reviewed conferences concerning the human factor of interactive technologies and design, such as CHI, NordiCHI and DIS. She served as an Associate Chair for CHI Late Breaking Work (2019) and the full paper track of NordiCHI (2020) and INTERACT (2021). Sandy has a background as a master in audiovisual arts (2005). Her audiovisual work has been awarded on several international film festivals; such as I Castelli Animati in Rome and The international short film festival of Leuven, and has been exhibited at several international venues; such as LABoral, Madrid and Museum M, Leuven. With this mixed background of science, design and arts, Sandy approaches research projects from a multi-disciplinary viewpoint.