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Mimicry: relational strategy in art and technology

Grant number: 11/18490-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2012
Effective date (End): October 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Plastic Arts
Principal Investigator:Milton Terumitsu Sogabe
Grantee:Fabio Oliveira Nunes
Home Institution: Instituto de Artes (IA). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This research is about a recurring strategy in several works of art and technology: the attempt to "look like" their non-artistic equivalents, creating actions that exploit the ambiguity and vagueness between "true" and "false." In the context of cyberspace, these works of art dialogue with the "fake" actions that have multiplied through tools focused on digital relationships, such as social networking (e.g. Facebook, Orkut and Twitter). Artists who choose this strategy of "imitation" often seek to problematize technology, unveiling its intentions or social consequences - what we call critical standpoints. Moreover, these mimetic activities happen in a systemic structure where there is a "model" to be copied, an artwork that "mimics" and assumes features of the model and a reader who will set the "model" next to the artwork. We are then able to apply a concept formerly distant from the universe of the new medias - however, well known in the natural sciences - the notion of mimicry.It is from this concept that this practical-reflective project will develop a fictional action, spread through a network, with the creation of a chatterbot - a chatting robot - which assumes the role of a fictional artist. In the artistic experimentation the robot will be an artist who performs a "teleperformance", establishing dialogues with visitors.Based on these propositions, the project will discuss:1. The processes of "imitation" as a relational strategy in cyberspace;2. Mimicry in works of art displaying a critical standpoint about art and technology;3. Mimicry as a project of artistic creation.