France Cadet

Do Robotic Cats Dream Of Electric Fish? / Gaude Mihi / Hunting Trophies / Dog [Lab] 01 / Canis Lupus Androidus Anatomy

In "Do Robotic Cats Dream Of Electric Fish?", Nemo, the robotic fish, is swimming imperturbably in the screen, which is also his fish tank. A robotic cat is sitting in front of the screen, watching it as if it was a real fish swimming in a real tank. Eventually, he gets up, meows and tries to catch the fish, unsuccessfully. Unless it is merely a misinterpretation, the cat might not have been fooled. He might be aware it's only a video and he is just having fun watching the famous Nemo on a DVD… Or maybe it's Disney Channel… Or a new channel for robotic pets. Blending into society, robots are now becoming more and more life-like, and they are claiming to act as moral agents. Thus this robotic cat might have the ability and desire to experiment social activities and pleasures such as the ones TV profusely offers. Even though nowadays it is still a luxury to own a sophisticated robotic pet like the ones envisioned by Philip K. Dick, it may soon be very feasible.

“Gaude Mihi” (literally "rejoice in myself") rocks whenever its owner approaches. Just as the robotic cat finds entertainment in the fish screen, he might simply be seeking to generate its own amusement, therefore eliminating the need of participation from its owner, thus redefining the role of the toy (and the player).

“Hunting trophies” evidently raises awareness about animals rights, in this case about hunting, but also brings new questions about domestic robots and robots in general, about their status, their function and their integration into society.

France Cadet, born in 1971, is a French Artist whose work ironically raises questions about various aspects in science debates. She first studied sciences before coming to fine arts. Today she teaches robotics at the Fine-Arts School of Aix-en-Provence. Known by her robotic and bio-oriented new media art she has done solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally in Europe but also in Japan, Korea, China, Brazil and United-States. She received the 1st Prize of VIDA 6.0, Madrid, and the Digital Stadium Awards in Tokyo. The Museum of Contemporary Art MEIAC in Spain, purchased one of her robots. Most of France Cadet’s artworks tackle serious problems but in an ironic and ludic way: funny toys, pleasant games, charming pets, cute robots… In a large part of her work she uses commercial robotic dogs which she has operated upon, customized and reprogrammed with unusual behaviours. These new strange creatures allow her to embody questions concerning animals rights, dangers of cloning, eugenics and to make a critical social comment about ethical questions and possible consequences of a technologically driven future, through ironical caricaturization but which is based on very-real facts.