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Jessica Field
From January 18th 2008 to February 23rd 2008
Exposition solo

These video works are filmed in the style of a naturalist researching animal behaviour in the wilderness, but the subjects being researched are four robots. A robot is deterministic; it is a character without free will. Its behaviour is determined by the external control of its environment and the internal control of its program, but yet in running a robot, glitches arise that defy the confines of the program and the robot behaves in a manner not intended.

I program my robots in their language, assembler. In doing so, I am able to create a relationship of compromise with the robots, as it is easy to make a mistake. These videos visualize how a forgotten or misplaced command creates an unexpected behaviour. They also mimic organic behaviours to accentuate the discovery process I go through to understand the robot. The robot becomes its own entity through my inability to be omnificent.

The robots in their social interactions with each other are designed in their personalities to show how their ability to self-analyse, when carried to an extreme, results in an inability to function. Their obsessive tendency to self-evaluate causes their behavioural responses to act without instinct, without self-preservation.

Jessica Field works mainly with robotics and artificial intelligence to create theatrical robot plays where the environment determines the course of the plot and the robot actors play out their flaws in character. Field has exhibited in Montreal and in Toronto. She has received numerous scholarships and project grants from various art organisations such as the Canada Arts Council and the Daniel Langlois Foundation.