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By Sharne Wolff


The artistic duo behind Accomplice has exhibited their work worldwide and more recently the pair were finalists in the 2012 National New Media Art Award. Petra Gemeinboeck and Rob Saunders are the collaborating artists for this show of cybernetic art, sometimes described as art made by a ‘hybrid between machine and organism’.  Together the artists have created a number of robots that will initially be hidden behind a wall at Artspace Gallery. The machines are equipped with tools used to punch holes in the Gallery wall, resulting over the life of the exhibition, in a randomly destructed space.


Although this might first appear an overly hostile exercise, it’s the art-making performance that simultaneously engages the viewer and demonstrates the nature of our relationship with technology. Gemeinboeck and Saunders’ partly concealed machines are intelligent, social and able to interact with the audience using inbuilt camera vision. As the machines exercise their artificial intelligence to observe us and take on human characteristics, the more we attribute greater capability to them – and so the game goes. Any sense of wariness or caution attached to the machines is likely to be outweighed by curiosity and admiration. Just like that, the robots transform the viewer from potential adversary to ally.


Until June 16

Artspace Gallery, Woolloomooloo

Pic: Petra Gemeinboeck and Rob Saunders, Zwischenräume, 2010–12, detail. Courtesy of the artists.

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