ad infinitum: a parasite that lives off human energy
- Przemiany Festival, Copernicus Science Center Warsaw [13-16 September 2018]
- World Economic Forum, Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco [December 2017 – May 2018]
- Ars Electronica [7-11 September 2017]
- Science Gallery Dublin [February 2017 – May 2017]
- Natural History Museum Bern [9th September 2016]
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”.
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.
The only way a visitor can be freed is by seducing another visitor to sit on the opposite chair and take their place.
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.
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
- Ad Infinitum Ars Electronica 2017 page
- Ad Infinitum at the World Economic Forum’s Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco.
- Interview and feature in Fast Company (fast.co design) by Katharine Schwab
- Creative Applications reviews Ad Infinitum (including making off) by Alexander Scholz
- Ad Infinitum in the Irish Times
- Mental Floss “This Art Machine Holds Your Arm Hostage Until Someone Else Puts Theirs In” by Shaunacy Ferro
- Review of Exhibition by Techlife Ireland
- Review of the exhibit at TrinityNews
- IrishExaminer reviews the exhibition by Jonathan deBurca Butler
About the artists
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.
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.
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).