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Paul-IX le vaniteux, passes time by drawing a still life from observation. The ensemble of objects depicted seems reminiscent of a Vanitas of the XVIth century; a type of motif traditionally depicting objects that symbolise different aspects of the futility of human earthly pursuits.
The irony of an artificial agent commenting upon human behaviours and mortality is counterbalanced by the knowledge that, just as the Nexus-6 in P. K. Dick's "Do androids dream of electric sheep" the Paul series of robots have, a short life expectancy. Anyway, what is the point for such a robot to dedicate its existence to drawings that comments on human existence rather than be a utilitarian slave as expected of it?
The Paul series of robots are artificial agents obsessively focused on the drawing practice. Paul predecessors were originally developed to palliate a debilitating painter’s block and as such can be seen as creative prosthetics or behavioral self-portraits. Even if the way the Pauls draw is based on Tresset's technique, their style is not a pastiche but rather an interpretation influenced by the robots' characteristics.
Paul IX will be exhibited at Goldsmiths, University of London part of the "Creative Machines" exhibition, produced by S. Horak and curated by W. Latham, F. Fol Leymarie and Atau Tanaka. Press release here: http://www.gold.ac.uk/news/...