These drawings are part of Collection. Collection is a continuously expanding participatory artwork that includes more than 10000 drawings of humans. They have been produced since 2011 during performances in Argentina, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, South Korea, Norway, Malta, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Canada and the USA. Each drawing has been drawn live with the subject posing in front of one or more robots from the RNP series. For the audience during the performances, the sitter is an immobile silent actor, the other actors, the robots, have the active roles. The human is an object of curiosity for these robots dedicated to studying the human.
The RNP was originally developed by Tresset to palliate a debilitating painter’s block. It could be seen as a creative prosthetic or a behavioral selfportrait. Even if the way Paul 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.
Tresset’s robots are actors whose behavioral 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’. Thousands of lines of code are constantly reworked as a messy, unachievable sketch that forms a cybernetic selfportrait, simulating the behaviour of almost an animal of an artist without pride, without intelligence; a naive artist, a candid extreme without a priori assumptions, without illusion, without a conscience… It only has technological and nervous reactions to stimuli of our reality. It creates a simulacrum, yet carries within it something of us. It observes us, reacts to us and represents us. 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.