November 17-20, 2011
Concourse Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art + Design

Gaude Mihi, interactive robot, 2008

Gaude Mihi (literally rejoice in myself) is a robotic dog which rocks by itself when someone approaches. Blending into society, robots are now becoming more and more life-like. Some are even claiming to be acting as moral agents and might have now the ability and desire to experiment social activities and pleasures.Thus this toy might just be seeking to generate its own amusement, therefore removing human participation and redefining the roles of the toy and the player. The functioning of this toy is not caused by the action of its owner but only by its presence and the generated pleasure is not dedicated to him, thus creating a possibly frustrating situation of exclusion. Machines first served us, then they provided us with entertainment, and now they seek to “rejoice in themselves”.

France Cadet, born in 1971, is a French digital and robotics artist whose work ironically raises questions about various aspects in science debates. First teaching as a volume and robotic professor at the Ecole Supérieure d’Art d’Aix-en-Provence (2000-2011), she has now joined The School of the Art Institute of Chicago as an Associate Professor and Chair in the Art and Technology Studies department.

Ms. Cadet came from a background in science before turning to artistic studies. Known by her robotic and bio-oriented multi-media installations which combine these two interests, she has done solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally, in Europe, Asia (Japan, Korea, China…), Brazil and United-States. Her works is regularly exhibited in international new-media festivals such as Ars Alectronica, Exit, Sonar, Emoção Artificial… likewise in traditional contemporary Art galleries and museums (CAAC in Sevilla, Quadrum Gallery in Lisbon, Pascal Vanhoecke Gallery and Palais de Tokyo in Paris) or Art fairs (ARCO in Madrid, SLICK and Art Paris).

Most of France Cadet’s artworks tackle serious problems but in an ironic and ludic way. In a large part of her work she uses a commercial robotic dog on which she performed surgery, customized their forms, and reprogrammed them with unusual behaviours. These new strange creatures allow her to embody questions concerning contemporary anxieties about biotechnology, animals rights, dangers of cloning, eugenics, and to make a critical social comment about ethical questions and possible consequences of a technologically driven future, through ironical caricaturization but which is based on very-real facts.

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