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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Leo Nunez – Emergence Exhibition

  • On December 22, 2009

Another piece of work from the Emergence Exhibition “Propagations” by Leo Nunez is a system of cellular automatons, made up by 50 robots. Different states emerge from this complex system. These states are defined not only by the interaction of the robots with the spectators, but also by the interaction of the robots with their neighboring pairs. I’ve been looking into CA based physical environments for a while with a few of my students who’ve been building them at the Bartlett’s Adaptive Architecture & Computation course (Marilena Skavara & Kensuke Hotta) but Leo Nunez’s piece deals with the interaction of CA systems in such a wonderfully analog way which is rarely seen today.

This work system also tries to investigate the man machine relation. The robots are unmanageable objects; thus, the control of these escapes the individuals and remains in the system itself, in the propagation of the information between the objects. The interaction of the users is mediated by a luminous interface keeping the body of the user away from the robots. This distance emphasizes the notion of the unmanageable objects, establishing a man-machine relation only mediated and more and more distant.

Each automaton is molded into a small robotic sculpture. The shape is given by the different electronic components necessary for its functionality. All the robots share the same electronic circuit design, but in their formality they are all different. Each cell or robot is constructed with Low-tech technology. This decision seeks to create a speech that establishes itself in a context of social criticism, generating an argument on the difference in the technology availability between the countries of the first world and the Latin American countries.

Leo Nuñez studied Systems engineering and image and sound design. He is currently finishing a degree in Electronic Arts at the UNTREF (Tres de Febrero National University, Buenos Aires). He works as a professor at IUNA (National University Institute or Art) offering programming and Electronic Art Workshops.

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