HUMAN STUDY #4, LA CLASSE

Human Study #4, La Classe, is a performative installation that uses embodied computational agents as stylised actors. Set as a classroom twenty-one robots of the RNP type act as pupils and teacher, the set also includes a large desk and a blackboard. On the walls are hung a series of computational plotted drawings based on a math coursebook(1).
La Classe is a play that takes its inspiration from childhood memories, Jacques Tati, T.L Adorno and M. Foucault. The actors express themselves in distorted morse code (2), learn to pass and record time with tally marks to learn to alleviate boredom. They are trained to conform and comply.
The fifteen-minute performance begins with the intense noise of the pupils chatting. They fall silent when the teacher says an unintelligible sentence. The registering process commences, he calls each pupil one by one, tracing a red line in his notebook, occasionally one needs to be recalled as if it was distracted. The lesson in itself is in three parts, practising tracing, vertical lines,  diagonals, the last part of the lesson to draw tally marks. At some point, they revolt for a minute or two then get back in line by tracing tally marks. During the performance, sounds of the motors, the friction of the pens on paper and robots’ voices produce a distinctive soundtrack.
La Classe is the fourth of the six instalments of Tresset’s Human Study series. As with the other installations, drawing is an essential component. Here mark-making is reduced to a minimal aesthetic playing with the strong symbolic and visual contrast between the tally mark and the gestural scribble.
The performance is not directly commentary on technology, but it is an observation of society, human nature and behavioural standardisation.

(1) “Mathematique des petits”, H. et J. Denise and R. Polle, Pub. Delagrave, 1970

(2) Tresset was taught to sing morse code as a child by his grandfather who was a radio operator during the second world war.

H4

Human Study #4, La Classe, is a performative installation that uses embodied computational agents as stylised actors. Set as a classroom twenty-one robots of the RNP type act as pupils and teacher, the set also includes a large desk and a blackboard. On the walls are hung a series of computational plotted drawings based on a math coursebook(1).

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La Classe is a play that takes its inspiration from childhood memories, Jacques Tati, T.L Adorno and M. Foucault. The actors express themselves in distorted morse code (2), learn to pass and record time with tally marks to learn to alleviate boredom. They are trained to conform and comply.
The fifteen-minute performance begins with the intense noise of the pupils chatting. They fall silent when the teacher says an unintelligible sentence. The registering process commences, he calls each pupil one by one, tracing a red line in his notebook, occasionally one needs to be recalled as if it was distracted. The lesson in itself is in three parts, practising tracing, vertical lines,  diagonals, the last part of the lesson to draw tally marks. At some point, they revolt for a minute or two then get back in line by tracing tally marks. During the performance, sounds of the motors, the friction of the pens on paper and robots’ voices produce a distinctive soundtrack.
La Classe is the fourth of the six instalments of Tresset’s Human Study series. As with the other installations, drawing is an essential component. Here mark-making is reduced to a minimal aesthetic playing with the strong symbolic and visual contrast between the tally mark and the gestural scribble.
The performance is not directly commentary on technology, but it is an observation of society, human nature and behavioural standardisation.

(1) “Mathematique des petits”, H. et J. Denise and R. Polle, Pub. Delagrave, 1970

(2) Tresset was taught to sing morse code as a child by his grandfather who was a radio operator during the second world war.

A series of computational plotted drawings based on a math coursebook,  “Mathematique des petits”, H. et J. Denise and R. Polle, Pub. Delagrave, 1970