Visual Arts & Technology Lecture: Robert Twomey, "Machines for Living In"

Thursday, April 3, 2014 ( 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm )

Location: Morton 324, Stevens Institute of Technology

Machines for Living In
By Robert Twomey, Ph.D. Candidate, Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media, University of Washington

Robert Twomey’s work explores the nature of cognition and identity through the creation of intelligent systems. Placed in closed loops with viewers, his projects foster a reciprocal examination of human and machine. He identifies key social structures, cultural narratives, and material realities as sites for engagement, developing them into projects that value experiential complexity over pointed, didactic statement. Representative examples are an interactive simulation of a grandmother with Alzheimer’s disease, a body of work exploring the fantasy of an imaginary daughter, and a recreation of John Searle's Chinese Room as a transaction between synthetic child speech and automated child drawing. This talk traces his trajectory from key early works to his dissertation piece.

Born in 1979 in Washington, DC, Robert Twomey is a Seattle-based artist exploring questions of embodiment, cognition, and identity through installation, performance, and interactive artwork. He has exhibited at SIGGRAPH, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Sweeney Art Gallery and California Museum of Photography, and other venues in the US and abroad. Twomey received his BS from Yale University with majors in Art and Biomedical Engineering, his MFA in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Digital Arts and Experimental Media at the University of Washington.