matthias gommel
martina haitz
jan zappe


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Human portraits drawn by a robot

A robot offers an unusual service in the museum. Pen in hand, he draws a human portrait. A drawing board sits in front of him, and a chair stands ready for his model.

Once a visitor is seated, the robot begins to work. The machine-artist fastens his camera eye on the model's face, and with striking hand movements, he draws the person's portrait.

The resulting image is individual and unpredictable. With both technical ability and the capability to recognize the characteristics of a human face, the robot hand forms his own style.

After the drawing process the robot wipes out the drawing by his own hand. Callously the machine leaves no remembrance of the person who sat vis-a-vis and who now must attend the erasure of the image.

In 'autoportait' machine and visitor are placed in the relationship of portrait-maker and model, of artist and subject. Though the act of creation originates with the machine, the function of image-reproduction is itself an image of human creativity.

With ist first drawings 'autoportrait' has portrait the well-known artist and media theoretician Peter Weibel in the ZKM - Center of Art and Media Karlsruhe (see [works]).


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