Notre Bon Plaisir | Mediator robots

Associated with the Mediator Robots the artistic project “Notre Bon Plaisir” ( Our Pleasure) is a robotic video installation in which the visitor is attacked by a pack of destitute robots.  Each of these crawling objects carries on its back semi-transparent screens displaying a human figure whose energetic moves are synchronized with the device’s behavior.  Motorized and aware of their position in space, these robots detect visitors and react to their movement in the form of a structured choreography. They alternately follow visitors, move away from them, regroup and return to swarm at their heels.

As proof of this specific interest for new digital materialization processes, Pascal Bauer has recently started work with Digitalarti’s Artlab with Notre Bon Plaisir – a new half-amused, half-provocative reference to hypnotic religious people – this recurrence is coupled with a much more comprehensive integration of the audience also set upon by a ‘swarm of needy robots’: crawling objects, each bearing a horizontal screen on which a human figure bustles about energetically, busy themselves as a group, disturbing a chosen visitor by following them insistently while their movements are synchronised with the choreographic gestures of the other people on the screens, directing little votive dances and repeated prayers to the visitors.




These beings  act like a tribe of several robots capable of mapping a place and identifying visitors, of reacting to their presence and accompanying them on their visit, and whose audio touch screen broadcasts different types of media according to its location and the demands of the visitors. ‘Notre Bon Plaisir requires the development of specific robotics, based on programming concepts that are perhaps paralleled, that I am unaware of,’ claims Pascal Bauer. ‘What I am saying is that I envision an atypical method of robotics management. To find the funding, I proposed a functional implementation to Univers Sciences in the form of a tribe of robot mediators. Digitalarti got hooked and we are currently developing the overall material and software programme. The project is more than ambitious and without doubt risky, but I think that I quite like to go above and beyond. The Digitalarti team has for some time been expanding its skills and I think that exciting experiments are in sight.



Mediator Robot

The objective is to observe the interaction between visitors and robots behaving like a mob. The project consists of developing a pack of 7 robots that are capable of mapping out a space and identifying the visitors, reacting to their presence and escorting their visit. Its audio touch screen displays differents types of media depending on its position and the visitors’ requests.
This work-in-progress is currently focused on innovative development in graphical artificial intelligence, with a new way of defining scenes where robots are controlled, as well as local intelligence for each robot. Both technological curiosity and mediating tool, this robot combines existing material with the development of behavioral software (embedded real-time systems): movement in relation to the visitors and other robots; animating an avatar in sync with the robot’s movement; displaying the content according to the context.


“Notre bon plaisir” was exhibited  in Paris at Prosopopées : quand les objets prennent vie at le CENTQUATRE for Némo 2015, Biennale Internationale des Arts Numériques-Paris/île-de-FranceFrom 05 december to 31 january 2016

Realisation, technical concepts, sound composition : Pascal Bauer.
Chorégraphy : Miguel Moreira
Dance : Sebastian Langueneur.
Production : Digitalarti. Coproduction : Digitalarti, Pascal Bauer, Universcience, Arcadi, Synesthésie. With the support of the CentQuatre-Paris.

With the help of Arcadi Ile de France.

Executive Production : Malo Girod de l’Ain.
Technical Direction : Bertrand Scache.
Robotic Programmation : Wilson Antoine, Assisted by Freddy You and Gloire Admira.
System Programmation: Olivier Gilquin.

Coordination : Martin Giraud. Assistant vidéo : Sebastien Andréa.
Communication : Jean-Baptiste Luneau.

Special Thanks : CentQuatre-Paris. Polytech Paris UPMC. Créatec. Patrick Cazade. Rero. Reynald Garcia



Pascal Bauer presentation

Whether he presents the body –especially his – as an unswerving walker, a faltering Christ or a contorted figurine, Pascal Bauer continues his portraiture with the same strong aesthetic identity, depicting the alienation of individuals by an increasingly technological community. The body is constrained in the shot using even more robotic methods and tactile videos in his new projects Notre Bon Plaisir and Senseimage developed with Digitalarti.

A visual as well as audiovisual artist, Pascal Bauer has investigated aesthetics looking at the strength but also the fragility of the individual through the alarming prism of the collective vantage point. Bodies fixed in the object, like his contorted figurines in Ne Laissez Jamais Vos Enfants Seuls (Never Leave Your Children Alone); Bodies enclosed in the screen, whether human, like this Christ-like body subject to expiatory tension (L’Elu – The Chosen One), or this naked body parading virtually on its track (La Foule-The Crowd), or animals, like this bull mounted on a gyratory robotic arm and ‘charging’ the audience surrounding it (Le Cercle – The Circle). Through image Pascal Bauer’s work transcends this forced progression of the individual towards the omnipotent group. An often chaotic and always disturbing progression, where the artist sometimes seems to put his body on the line by directly sacrificing his own image, but who bestows these pieces with fascinating strength, where the choice of the medium is less decisive than the search for meaning. ‘My work is in the first instance significant,’ explains Pascal Bauer. ‘I then choose the technique that will best champion the resulting form. I use other mediums like photography or text in other works.’…

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