ad infinitum: a parasite that lives off human energy

 Last exhibited at Ars Electronica’17 [7-11 September 2017, Linz]

Ad infinitum is a parasitical entity which lives off human energy. It lives untethered and off the grid. This parasite reverses the dominant role that mankind has with respect to technologies: the parasite shifts humans from “users” to “used”.

Fotoshooting für Kunst/Research-Projekt "Parasite" von Pedro Lopes

Ad infinitum co-exists in our world by parasitically attaching electrodes onto the human visitors and harvesting their kinetic energy by electrically persuading them to move their muscles.

Fotoshooting für Kunst/Research-Projekt "Parasite" von Pedro Lopes

The only way a visitor can be freed is by seducing another visitor to sit on the opposite chair and take their place.

Fotoshooting für Kunst/Research-Projekt "Parasite" von Pedro Lopes

Being trapped in the parasite’s cuffs means getting our muscles electrically stimulated in order to perform a cranking motion as to feed it our kinetic energy. This reminds us that, in the cusp of artificially thinking machines, we are no longer just “users”; the shock we feel in our muscles, the involuntary gesture, acknowledges our intricate relationship to uncanny technological realm around us.

Media

Visitor’s reactions to Ad Infinitum

Watch how the parasite gathers new hosts

Pedro & Robert demonstrate Ad Infinitum at “Byte-sized Artist Talks” at Science Gallery

Exhibition at Ars Electronica 2017

Opening night at Science Gallery Dublin (Humans Need Not to Apply, Jan-May 2017)

Interview at Science Gallery Dublin with Luke Clancy from Culture File Podcast (audio).

Ad Infinitum in the Press

About the artists

Fotoshooting für Kunst/Research-Projekt "Parasite" von Pedro Lopes

Artists left-to-right: Patrick Baudisch, Pedro Lopes, Alexandra Ion, Robert Kovacs and David Lindlbauer (not in photo).

Stand-alone & interactive installation: custom electronics, steel, battery, energy harvesting dynamos, motors, electrical muscle stimulation units, micro-controllers, pressure sensors, electrodes, CNC’d acrylic, copper tape. Production date: 2016.

Exhibited at:

Background / Artistic framing:

Ad infinitum is a machine on top of a human. While interacting with it you experience the shift from user to used, this question arose from the artists’ own line of research in the field of human-computer interaction. In their research, instead of envisioning technological dystopias based on the divide between human and machine, their working prototypes demonstrate the interface and the human becoming closer, blurred, increasingly physical and intimate.

Acknowledgments

Astrid Thomschke, Roland Fischer, Hasso Plattner Institute & VIDA16 Incentive Award.

Photo Credits & Presskit

All pictures in this webpage were taken by Arthur Silber, 2017.

Here you can get hi-res imagery of our piece (as a .zip file).