Cyborg Art Collective

Artistic Statement

The Cyborg Art Collective strives for art that provides a bridge between science, philosophy and the general culture. We focus on commonly used digital technologies to research subjects of; technology's influence on perceptions, the automation of creativity, and autonomy of the digital system. Our main inspirations that influence the projects we undertake are philosophers like: Petran Kockelkoren, Lev Manovich and Peter-Paul Verbeek.Their literature provides a rich source of information about the interaction between human beings and technology that shapes the thematics of our artworks. In this train of thought we aim, through art, to propose questions about technology's actorship and with it, its control over-, and influence on-, our understanding of the world.

The Cyborg Art Collective implements this by playing between the medium of the digital domain and the physical reality. Creating art through a process of decision making that is formed along lines of rules and conventions present in the digital devices and their virtual representations. Furthermore we provide the audience with specific ways of interacting with the artworks with the aim to blur the lines between the control of the user and the program. Throughout these projects The Cyborg Art Collective's goal is to not only make artworks about the subject matter. The resulting artworks are a means to generate knowledge and provide insights in these fields of study. In symbiosis with digital systems we function like cyborgs, in that we simultaneously work with the technology, and let the technology guide us in our work. Through this symbiotic relationship we seek to reveal the possibilities and the limits of the systemic logic found in all these digital devices.

The Cyborg Art Collective beliefs when thinking about subjects of our perceptions, ethics and actorship, there is not a hard line between the technology and its user. We state that it is an interlinked system that works between both entities, meaning that the average user of today's digital devices is a cyborg. With these concepts the Cyborg Art Collective sees the possibility to create an art practise that generates valuable knowledge and insights about our everyday life.

Who are we

The Cyborg Art Collective is a multidisciplinary group with dynamic cooperative characteristics. Meaning we do not operate from a fixed location, and the members of the Cyborg Art Collective working on a particular project can vary. In every project the main focus is on philosophical and scientific questions about conventional technologies and everyday life. We see art as an important facet of society that can be viewed as a system mediating between different discourses, field of study and the general culture. We've exhibited artworks like The Ultimate Exhibition, Pixels for Sale and the TUE Usb Kit at the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, Tec Art during Art Rotterdam, and Toronto Digifest. During these kinds of exhibitions, we aim to provide our audience with the possibility to actively interact with our artworks to generate insights and new knowledge through experience. And through this process our goal is to place artworks, and with them ideas, concept and beliefs, in between different discourses as mediators.

Contact information

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Our cyborgs

Critic/Artist - Charles M. Alan
Artist/Spokesperson - Mark C. H. Schobben
Hacker/System designer - FileCorruption aka F_Co


The Ultimate Exhibition

The Ultimate Exhibition

The Ultimate Exhibition is an interactive artwork that consists of two parts: a virtual space showing a copy of the exhibition, and the physical devices that are necessary for the interaction with the digital domain. The virtual part is a computer game that is used as a platform for the creation of exhibition spaces. We use the engine of the game The Ultimate Doom to copy the physical space in which the installation is presented. This creates a low resolution representation of the exhibition including its artworks. The user is given the possibility to walk through this space in a 'First-person action shooter' like fashion. In this artwork the gaming aspect is switched from the virtual domain into the physical space. With the virtual exhibition all shooter aspects are removed, only giving the user the possibility to view the artwork as is typical for regular exhibitions. For example when the user tries to shoot, the virtual action becomes the typical activity of taking pictures with a smartphone. On the other hand the physical action is more related to the shooter aspect of the original game, moving around with a large gun inspired on a recognizable weapon of the original game, the gatling gun. This physical part of the installation, the gatling gun, is the controller used for the interaction with the virtual domain. The gun is accompanied by a backpack and a VR headset visually transporting the user into the digital space, while experiencing the tactile sensation of carrying the heavy gun and being entangled into the hardware of the system. The weight and clumsiness of this device are meant to keep the user actively engaged with the interaction. The gun-controller is in contrast with the use of conventional technologies like a keyboard, instead of a minimal action resulting in a big virtual reaction, the controller requires big actions to facilitate little reactions. The user now has to wrestle with the controller that gives an experience that represents the wielding of a gatling gun. While, similar to the conventional interaction with a computer game, the physical action and the virtual reaction are related to each other in a weird way. As it seems to be normal with standard gameplay, the interaction of an user is not an one on one representation of action and motion in the virtual space. Rather it is a translation of one action to another reaction. As shown with this artwork, shooting in the physical space becomes the activity of taking pictures in the digital domain. Approaching the same weird causality of the conventional gameplay, pressing a key on your keyboard becomes shooting a gun. Because (frequent-) users become so accustomed to this disconnected causality within this interaction they usually are not aware of this aspect. With this artwork we hope the user is forced to focus on this aspect, and as a result become aware of the disconnection of action and reaction between physical and virtual spaces. Playing with, domestication of technology, where the handling of devices become second nature. And playing into expectations that certain technology's give us. We aim to generate knowledge about these kinds of aspects of everyday digital technology, and to question the influence of these devices on our perception of the world.

Exhibited at

ArtEZ Arnhem
GOGBOT Enschede
MAFF Almelo
Manifestation Dutch Design Week Eindhoven
Toronto Digifest 2017

Watch videos

EDtv DDW Microlab
Almelo Media Art Flow Festival met Pop up galerie
Toronto Digifest 2017 teaser

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