HUMAN STUDY #1, 5RNP: Patrick Tresset (FR)


Human Study #1, 5RNP is an installation where the human becomes an actor. In a scene reminiscent of a life drawing class, the human takes the sitter’s role to be sketched by 5 robots. The robots, stylised minimal artists, are only capable of drawing obsessively. The robots, named Paul-III. (a, b, c, d, e), all look alike except for their eyes; either obsolete digital cameras, or low-res webcam.

The sounds produced by each robot’s motors create an improvised soundtrack. The human sitter is passive, the robots taking what is perceived as the artistic role.

RNP was originally developed by Tresset to palliate a debilitating painter’s block. It could be seen as a creative prosthetic or a behavioural self-portrait. Even if the way robot draws is based on Tresset’s technique, its style is not a pastiche of Tresset’s, but rather an interpretation influenced by the robot’s characteristics.

Patrick Tresset’s robots are actors whose behavioural patterns are developed in the form of computer programs, gradually crafted as a sketch, seeking the right gesture. These mechanical bodies have no soul, no spirit, but they are intended to tell us ‘stories of humanity’. The traces of its activity, its movements, reactions and decisions are retained as memories on paper through the accumulation of traits that now feel human.