Robots have been Soda’s friends ever since Fiddian’s MA show ‘Dozer M’obots back in the mid-nineties.
In Fiddian’s performance Neurotic, giant pogo-ing robots attend 3 punk gigs. Neurotic questions how learning develops through the empathetic responses of the brain. The robots’ own neural networks are modelled on so-called ‘mirror neurons’ in the brain which stimulate mimicry. Each robot is exposed to punk records that Fiddian collected as a youth. The intention is that the robots develop their neural connectivity through ‘listening’.
Ed v Zach was a collaboration between Ed Burton and Zach Leiberman, created for the Generative X exhibition of computational aesthetics curated by Daniel Brown as part of onedotzero at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 2005.
For the Lux Gallery’s second show in 1998, Fiddian and Julian created ‘Corrupted Nature’. Two robots enact de Sade’s ‘Dialogue between a priest and a dying man’, an argument about the possibilities of free will and the existence of a Creator. This mechatronic tableau ironically questions our views of technology and the artificial within the natural world.
The ‘dozer Mobots installation, is a reactive artwork, concerned with subjects of communication and control within societies. It consists of five computer controlled robot bulldozers (‘dozers), moving over, and hence transforming, sculpting a terrain of earth three meters square. Users are able to subtly, influence the installation by way of a mouse click on a two dimensional density map representation of the terrain, contained within a controlling computer.