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Exo-Biote Project Soft Robotics, Jonathan Pépé

Project Thema
III. Transmedia
Post Datum

The Exo-biote project aims to invent a typology of possible forms and movements by diverting “soft robotics” technologies. The installation features moving sculpture-objects. These hybrid objects swell with air and seem to be alive, to breathe. These components are part of a whole, they belong to the same body, one whose humours and pulsing organs we can observe. A spasmodic choreography leads the viewer on an inner journey, into the meanders of one of those absurd reasoning processes that logicians calls “apagogies” by proposing hypothetical prostheses for the consumer market. It is as if the objects presented here were commodities, objects ready to use, mass-produced surrogate organs.

Working with supple, soft technologies results, first of all, from an observation: as technology progresses, the computer and the human body have entered into an increasingly intimate relationship. Looking forward, this growing closeness between man and machine led me to imagine a structural modification of computers, like the “pods” in Existenz (D. Cronenberg, 1999). My hypothesis is that the computer, the machine, has an “organic destiny.” It will become alive, soft. Is this way of thinking about robotics and electronics taking root in our own times?

Since the turn of the century we have been witnessing the development of a new field of research called soft robotics, which concerns deformable robots made with supple materials. The aim is to create robots that are more flexible, more adaptable, and less dangerous for humans. To achieve this, scientists take their lead from living creatures. This research, combined with the discovery of “Soft Robot” technology, is the manifestation of an aspiration to machines that “become organic.”


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EXO-BIOTE, JONATHAN PÊPE, Installation pneumatique et lumineuse, techniques mixtes, Le Fresnoy, 2015

Huidige Thema's

I. Connected Ecology


II. ICT for Education


III. Transmedia


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