The Artist and the Automatic Machine

Understanding the machine-human creative interface

1 July 2017


  • Media Art

“The artist can decide either to dominate the machine or give it the ability to talk in his language”.

Key issues:

  • How the relationship between the artist and the machine has changed artistic expression?
  • How machines can become a new kind of medium?
  • Can machines enhance aesthetic awareness?

During a workshop at Centro Nacional de las Artes, José Manuel Ruiz invited us to reflect on these questions by exploring the concept of media, theoretically and experimentally by developing an artwork with the machines at the media lab.

After playing with the photocopier I realized I could use it as a medium for expressing the “transduction of the primitive”. A human process of symbollic exploration that began with the first handprint in a cave, and continued through time with the use of technology: automatic reproduction, replication and transformation of symbols. Below are the results.

Primitivo Digital - La huella del ser

  • How do we inhabit and talk through the media?
  • What marks do media leave on us?

“Media are means of extending and enlarging our organic sense lives into our environment”.

Santiago Rentería
Computer scientist and audio engineer working at the intersection of machine listening and acoustic ecology.
Interests: sound art, media archaeology and process philosophy.