I’ll keep you warm and safe

Interactive Live Simulation, Installation
sound design: Stefano D'Alessio

In an interview with PBS in 2011, Dr. David Hanson asked his android modelled after sci-fi writer Philip K Dick1 if robots will take over the world. The robot replied saying: “Don’t worry, even if I evolve into Terminator, I’ll keep you warm and safe in my people zoo, where I can watch you for ol’ times sake”. The title quotes this answer, and exemplifies the fear of technology, of being controlled by it, as well as the comfort we may gain from it. As virtual and physical realities merge into one, as the fear of AI and robots taking over humanity grows - as well as our dependency to the very same technology we fear, we can look at the virtual and online avatars and bodies as perceivable, as entities that need care and kindness. “I’ll keep you warm and safe” deals with the perception of the human body in the digital age. It is an interactive installation that creates a dialogue between the physical and the digital, a reflection on what is the body after it has been transferred into a virtual state and how physical reality impacts and influences the digital. Through video mapping techniques, virtual clones of the artist’s 3D scanned body inhabit the physical space of the wall. Trapped in a defined area, they multiply over time until reaching maximum capacity. With no more space to be, the virtual bodies are forced to look at any physical users present in the room. Prisoners of their own algorithms and rules, software as well as physical limitations, they react in unpredictable ways with grotesque and uncanny moves that makes them perceivable and therefore “real”.

A site-specific iteration of “I’ll keep you warm and safe” was commissioned for the Paper-Thin v2.0 online exhibition space that launched on December 8th 2016 and is since then permanently available on their website ︎︎︎
For this iteration, an already existing virtual room is filled with organic, three-dimensional skin as well as constant cloning of the avatars that end up not only occupying the artist room but also the adjacent spaces.