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Italian version


13.12.02 Cello, robotic sound art.
Beatriz da Costa is an artist who explores the possibilities of robot art, and at the same time is fascinated by sound. Her 'Cello' integrates interactivity and autonomous behaviours with the motion which differentiates robotic scupltures from other kind of sculptures. In fact, the cello, if played by a suitably programmed mechanical arm, varies its performance according to a computer-generated sound wave and to the position of the listener. The note emitted by the PC is used by the robotic arm to tune the instrument. A computer equipped with a microphone compares the two sounds and the instrument is rotated or the angle of the bow is changed accordingly, until the tuning is perfect. Then, the instrument itself plays some phrasings by self-manipulating its physical elements. Those phrasings, too, are monitored and repeated until the software judges them correct. The sensing of an excessively near presence stops all operations, communicating the annoyance of someone who was distracted while concentrating on something and, if this presence persists, the software puts the instrument out of tune, and restarts again from the beginning. The video, viewable on the site, shows these behaviours and demonstrates once again the unsuppressable human desire to create other forms of intelligence, which in this case interact with one of the most indisciplinable elements of his sensitiveness: music.