Ken Rinaldo creates interactive art installations that explore the relationship between nature and technology. He creates robotic and bio-art installations to try to merge the organic and the “electromechanical” together. He is influenced by living system theories, interspecies communications, artificial life research etc. He was born in 1958. His best known works are Autopoiesis in 2000:
and Augmented Fish Reality in 2004.
He graduated with an associates in computer science from Canada College in 1982, and has since gone on to graduate with a bachelors from University of California, Santa Barbara and San Francisco State University. In 2000 he won first place at the VIDA 3.0 international artificial life competition for his piece Autopoiesis. And in 2004 his piece Augmented Fish Reality also won an award at the same festival. He is now in charge of the art and technology program at Ohio State University.
In his piece Augmented Fish Reality; it’s an interactive installation of five rolling robotic fish-bowl sculptures. It allows the fish (he used Siamese fighting fish because of their excellent eyesight and their color vision) to use the intelligent hardware (installed in the robotic fish bowl sculpture) to move their bowls and control their environment. All under the fish’s control. They were able to affect their environment by communicating with the other fish, their own robotic fish bowl sculptures and they reacted to the humans in the space.
Before I chose this artist I was mainly interested in exploring the difference between 3D art installation and that of 2D art. I was curious as to how the viewer reacted and what was similar and what was different.
In Augmented Fish Reality, the viewer would indirectly causing the environment to change. Just by being in the space, would cause the fish to react in some way, and therefore change the environment. By doing this Rinaldo is actually having the viewer part of the art. The art installation wouldn’t be complete unless people participated in it. Because if not, then the fish wouldn’t really have that much to react to so the environment wouldn’t really change that much.
Lillian Schwartz was born in 1927, she is well known for being one of the creators of 20th century computer developed art. Perhaps her most famous work is Mona Leo. She started off working with Bell Laboratories, developing sound, video, and art mixtures. Then during the 1980’s she started experimenting with computers to manipulate artwork. She mainly uses computers to manipulate images that related to art and in art history. She was doing this with computers before digital art became more widely used in the 1990’s. She basically uses shapes generated by a computer to make images on a computer screen. She has also experimented with ways to put multiple images together on a computer as a college. And she has also transformed images of faces to (for example she transformed the face of Rembrandt to a photo of Albert Einstein). She has also combined images of art for a post for the Museum of Modern Art in New York (Big MoMA).
In her art with Leonardo Da Vinci, she uses a 3D computer generated model to show the lines, so she can manipulate the perspective lines on another piece so they will match. A great example of this is in her piece Mona Leo. She replaced the left side of the famous Mona Lisa with a red chalk portrait of Leonardo Da Vinci. She used the 3D computer generated model to make sure that the eye, eyebrow, nose, chin, of Leonardo Da Vinci and Mona Lisa line up perfectly. I found this interesting because, in some way or another you can always tell who created an artwork. Whether it’s from a particular style the artist uses or not, this gives that new meaning. She merged the art and the artist together so they form one person.
mona lisa before
Leonardo Da Vinci before
The interaction for the viewer with this piece is much different than in Rinaldo’s Augmented Fish Reality. In Schwartz’s piece the viewer isn’t really interacting directly with the piece. They are left to be a viewer of the art, and not as an active participant. However, that is not to say that in 2D art works the viewer isn’t entirely left out. It’s true, they are mainly observing instead of participating (like in Augmented Fish Reality) but they are participating in the artwork mentally instead of physically. The viewer is using their minds to participate in this work, by looking at the matching of the eyes, eyebrows, lips, chin the mind will automatically look to try to find flaws in the match. Therefore their minds are participating in the piece by trying to find flaws in the work.
The interaction for the viewer in Augmented Fish Reality is much different than in Mona Leo. Here the viewer is actively participating with their bodies. By moving around the space, which causes the fish to react. The viewer is therefore not a viewer in Augmented Fish Reality but a participator in the art itself.
In 2D artworks, the viewer participates in the piece more mentally and passively. 2D artworks can therefore be classified as more intimate. It is just between the viewer and the art and nothing else because nothing else is affecting it.
In 3D artworks, like Augmented Fish Reality, it’s more of an active and physical participation with an art piece. The viewer is no longer just a viewer but a participant in the art itself. In face the art would not be complete unless there was some participation. Because of this however, 3D works are not as intimate as 2D, they are in fact more social and more physically demanding than mentally demanding.
Both forms are incredibly different, for very obvious reasons (2D vs. 3D) but they do have the viewer in some form participate in the artwork. With 3D work the participation is more obvious, whereas in 2D the participation is a little more difficult to pin down. But once you do, you realize that both forms of participation are not that different. Because after all, the viewer is participating in them no matter what dimension it’s in.