Automaton 🤖 (Jan 2023 Exhibit)

Collection Automaton 2023 inspiration for Joan Seed

An automaton to me is an empty shell that mimics a human being. When I visited the Mechanical Museum at Pier 45 in San Francisco I had an awakening. I had never seen so many of these animated dolls. Some are fortune tellers, others tell jokes.

Sailors who landed for a weekend in San Francisco could find some entertainment there during the Second World War. The comparison between automatons and humans is inevitable. In the performance of our duties, we are all, at times, empty shells. We can function without motivation, without reflection with repetitive gestures. Witnesses of their time, mechanical puppets are created in the image of the humans who inspired them. It is a bit like a meeting beyond the grave.

Collection Automaton 2023 inspiration for Joan Seed


Despite their jerky movements, we are confronted by the more or less convincing illusion of the human. The absence of a soul forces the brain to imagine a personality. Artificial intelligence, which has gained a lot of momentum in the last few years, can lead us to question to what extent we want to give control to robots. Artificial intelligence even seeks to replace artists. Letting art fall under the control of artificial intelligence is a bit like voluntarily becoming an automaton and abdicating to humanity. What will we have left of our time if we give up the power of art in this way?

Collection Automaton 2023 inspiration for Joan Seed


Devoid of empathy, our relationships with automatons sometimes remind us of those we have with humans. We sometimes look for the human who meets all our expectations and never protests. We are attracted to beautiful empty shells with whom we share no reciprocity on TicToc. In 10 years, these empty shells will look as dated as the automatons at the Mechanical Museum at Pier 45. It is the wheel that turns. Dolls, despite their empty looks, have a lot to teach us about the human race. We only have to analyze our relationship with them.

xJoan

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