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Jeff Lieberman and Dan Paluska will discuss
Quartet (aka Absolut
Quartet which was commissioned by the Absolut Visionaries
project in 2007). Awarded a Prix Ars Electronica Award of
Distinction for Interactive Art in 2008, Quartet
is installed at the Ars
Electronica Center in Linz, Austria until December 2009.
Quartet is an invitation to enter into a creative
dialog with a robot orchestra. There’s a trio of robots,
and the human user makes it an even quartet. The latter gets things
started by composing a motif and inputting it via the Internet;
this lays the musical groundwork for a unique three-minute concert
by the user’s robotic bandmates. The performance is recorded
and saved to memory in a Web gallery. Quartet
makes the Internet an interface that enables users to conceive
works of art in the real world and store them in the virtual one.
Moreover, the complexity of the robotic instruments is truly impressive:
for instance, a six-meter-long marimba (a subspecies of xylophone)
that’s played by 40 two-armed robots firing tiny rubber
balls with astounding accuracy at the instrument’s wooden
bars. Or a tonal array of 35 wineglasses made to reverberate by
a robotic finger flitting above them. Via Internet, the human
creator can take in the performance of his/her piece. See a short
video of the piece here.
Dan and Jeff express themselves by any means necessary. Most of
their work involves 'high technology,' but this functions only
as the enabler, not the message. They are currently looking for
ways to leverage human self-interest for humanity's mutual benefit.
They still don't have the answers, so they practice all the time.
The future is not a competition, it is a collaboration.