[ISEA2023] Artists Talk: Louis-Philippe Demers & Bill Vorn — Robots on Humans: Symbionts or Parasites?

Artists Statement

Theme: Robots – Expanded Corporalities Subtheme: Symbiotic Imaginaries

Keywords: Robotic Art, Performance, Participation, Co-creation, Symbiosis, Parasitism, Control, Submission, Exoskeleton, Wearable Machine, Hybrid, Cyborg

In this Artist Talk, we are presenting a variety of Robotic Art projects that we have realized in the last thirty years and that involve machines in very close contact with humans (performers, viewers, etc.). This symbiotic theme is at the heart of our new participative project Godspeed, a large-scale performance where the audience is invited to wear robotic extensions, augmentations and prosthetics. Based on what we call speculative rituals of the machine, Godspeed is our way to wish “good luck” to humanity once we reach the point of singularity.

  • Bill Vorn, based in Montreal, Canada, is active in the field of Robotic Art since 1992. His installation and performance projects involve robotics and motion control, sound, lighting, video and cybernetic processes. He pursues research and creation on Artificial Life and Agent Technologies through artistic work based on the Aesthetics of Artificial Behaviors. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Communication Studies from UQAM (Montreal) for his thesis on Artificial Life as a Media. He teaches Electronic Arts in the Department of Studio Arts at Concordia University (Intermedia program) where he holds the rank of Full Professor.
  • Louis-Philippe Demers (CA) makes large-scale installations and performances. He participated in more than seventy artistic and stage productions and has built more than 375 machines. Demers’ works have been featured at major venues such as Theatre de la Ville, Lille 2004, Expo 1992 and 2000, Sonambiente, ISEA, Siggraph and Sonar. He received six mentions and one distinction at Ars Electronica, the first prize of Vida 2.0, mentions at Vida 12.0 and 15.0, two jury recommendations at the Japan Media Arts Festival, the Interactive prize for Lightforms 98 and six prizes for Devolution including two Helpmann Awards. Demers holds a Ph.D. on robotic performances from Plymouth University. He was Professor at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe, affiliated to the world renowned Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM, Germany).