Like the two-person knife game known as “5-finger fillet”, where one player attempts to rapidly stab between the splayed fingers of the other player’s hand, “Knife.Hand.Chop.Bot” opposes two players in a game that mixes risk and physical skill. In this case, however, the human protagonist contests with a machine whose motions are partly and blindly driven by the reflex corporeal reponses of its opponent. The player robot consists of a metal and acrylglass framework onto which a knife is mounted vertically above the hand the human player places on the horizontal tablet. Sensor signals guide the knife to hit the space between the fingers at a steadily accelerating pace. The subject’s skin conductance activates electrical contacts hard-wired to a sound card and video board, whose closure triggers sound that is perceived as a warning or additional source of stress; this feedback is generated as soon as the human player begins to sweat, taking computer-human interaction to a paroxystic extreme. The contacts actioned in this manner also interfere with the computer-controlled position of the knife. Knife.Hand.Chop.Bot thus draws human, computer and mechanical energies into an agonistic loop of self-fulfilling prophecy, where the human rightly assumes that the machine can fail, and where this failure is possible because the human assumption affects physiological parameters which perturb the machine’s performance.
About the author
Ulrich Emanuel Andel was born on the 13. November 1979 in Vienna, Austria. In 1994 he attended the higher graphical school in Vienna, at the higher department for photography & audiovisual Media, which he finished in 1999. At the age of 22 he started his studies at the university of applied arts and focused on “visual media design” under the supervision of Peter Weibel and Tom Fürstner.
2003 Emanuel Andel and Christian Gützer founded the Art Group 5VOLTCORE and created works that deal with the behaviour of closed and formal systems and their manipulation. They showed their works at various festivals from Madrid to Tokyo and won the Transmediale award in 2005.
Also 2005 Emanuel Andel organized a serious of events to encourage the culture of VJ’s in the “Museumsquartier (MQ)” in Vienna called “Equaleyes”. From 2005 to 2006 he spent a year abroad at the Ravensbourne College of Communication, MA for interaction design in London. In 2006 Emanuel was co-founder of the media – art documentation platform www.tagr.tv.
He has been awarded wit international prozes such as “Transmediale Award”, Berlin Germany (2005) / V2_ Labs Project Grant, Rotterdam Netherlands (2207) / Winner of “Kunsthalle Wien Award”, Vienna Austria (2007) / Honorary Mention “Share Prize”, Turin Italy (2008)