Is technology eating my brain?

Can you live without your smartphone?

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Technological anxieties and joys

A project and exhibition by Paul Granjon with a group of participants

31st March – 3rd June 2014, Watermans

Workshop sessions:

Every Tuesday from 1 April - 13 May, 1pm to 4pm

Do you ever feel that you can't keep up with technological progress? Could you live without your smartphone? Have you ever taken a consumer electronics item apart? What would you do if electricity stopped? Does digital stimulation make your brain better or worse? Do you prefer people or machines?

The work of artist Paul Granjon repeatedly raises questions about our relation to technology or, in his own words, about the co-evolution of humans and machines. He makes robots and other electro-mechanical-digital devices that home-in on current trends of gadgetry and techno-social aspects of our daily lives. The machines are presented in performances, installations, or participative events where visitors are invited to contribute, learn, make and share. Granjon's current interests are in creative technology approaches to low-impact living, electronic-waste upcycling, social dynamics for alternative futures and artificial creatures.

Taking place within London's Anxiety Arts Festival, Is technology eating my brain? is a platform for reflection, dialogue and construction. Granjon's seven weeks residency/exhibition at Watermans will combine regular sessions with a group of local participants and an ongoing deployment of new work in the gallery space. The participants will bring personal stories about their technological anxieties and joys and will be given the opportunity to creatively deconstruct a selection of obsolete technological items. Stories and machine parts will be the starting point for artworks and other creative responses to the theme of technological anxieties and joys. The collective work will be presented as part of the Paul Granjon exhibition at the Watermans Gallery.

Granjon will create onsite new work that will tap into creative upcycling, automated environments, cyber-botanic symbiosis, artificial creatures and a general sense of science fiction happening.

During the project, The Biting Machine and Autonomous Robotic Gun by Paul Granjon will be also displayed in the gallery. 

The Biting Machine is a simple automaton built partly with parts from a recycled VCR and electric scooter. At regular intervals the cartoonish machine rushes forward, its oversized pointy teeth biting frantically into anything in their way. The Autonomous Robotic Gun is inspired from recent military robotics, specifically from robotic sentries that can be deployed in sensitive zones and shoot at intruders, possibly without direct human supervision. Paul Granjon built his own version of a robotic sentry using off the shelf components and a paintball gun.

Both works, as other typical Granjon objects, are mixing humour and an uncomfortable, dangerous aspect, raising questions about our relation to machines and possible developments of technology.

March 27, 2014

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