by Paul Granjon 7.30 pm at the Sussex Arts Club, Brighton.
This event was
sponsored by COGS,
the Centre for Research in Cognitive Science and was the final
event in their two day interdisciplinary symposium Art,
Body, Embodiment (March 14 - 15, 2005).
Granjon founded Z Productions in 1988, which specialises
in low technology applied to electronic arts. The output
of Z Productions consists mostly of robots for performance
or exhibition, short video films and internet related activities.
Paul has been a part-time lecturer in video, performance
and digital media on the Time
Based Practice department of the School of Fine Art,
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, UK since 1995. In
2004 he received a NESTA
fellowship. He is one of four artists who have been
selected to represent Wales
at the Venice Biennale this year. At Blip Paul gave
a lecture with videos and photographs of works made between
1996 and 2005 generated through the Z Lab's research and
started his presentation with footage of an interview with
Mark Pauline, founder of Survival
Research Laboratories, whose "bottom of the bucket"
approach to appropriating technology is an inspiration behind
Z Lab's projects. Whereas SRL often appropriates military
technology, Z Lab tends to use toys and the work is literally
more touchy feely (Fluffy
exploring darker aspects of the relationship between humans
and machines with humour rather than exposing them to physical
danger. Paul gave a chronological overview of his projects
and showed footage of his performances (Z Lab Transported).
A key area explored in all of his work is the future (and
present) of humans and machines. Paul's use of familiar,
off the shelf technology and his humourous performances
make his work appealing to a wide audience and his presentation
attracted one of our largest audiences who filled the Sussex
Before and after the presentation Bill Bigge and James Mandelis
demonstrated a variety of robotic technology: a hexapod robot; a 2-wheeled balancing robot; an autonomous obstacle avoiding robot;
and four velcrobots developed as part of the 2004 Blip collaborative robotics project.