2024 – with AATB, Rayform, EPFL, Arsaffix, Ècal

PINNANNOUSU (Finnish for “level elevation) is an immersive robotic performance, that brings together computational design, natural material processes, the audience and an open ended, time-based process with all the schisms and rifts that the differing nature of these elements try to negotiate. The work grapples with the individual existence in a macroscopic tectonic shift: A robotic arm, equipped with a drill spindle and a flashlight, is set to work to carve a large block of ice, gradually converting it to a sculptural caustic lense, refracting the flashlight illumination to an immersive 3D scene projected on to the walls. The resulting play of light converges to a clear visual motifs, seemingly impossible, and then drifting out of focus, over time slowly melting away. The process is captured with a time lapse camera, making the slow melting process equally perceivable as the loud, dynamic milling.

The futility of the “ingenuity” - carving a slowly melting block of ice to a computed ideal form that bends light into a desired visual motif, - is an arms race between the natural process and human intervention. The attempt to seize a form in an amorphous material is an apt metaphor of how we are today faced with an omnipresent global challenge. We can only make meaning at an individual level, yet we know that our collective actions influence all of us. Beyond moral judgement, the celebration of the resulting aesthetic with its unstoppable transition, serves as a catalyst, to be simultaneously mesmerized by, immersed in and critically aware of the process.

The artwork was developed for the Sapporo International Art Festival 2024 themed “Last Snow” in Moerenuma Park. Isamu Noguchi’s Glass pyramid, and the snow storage chamber under it is its spiritual home. This environmental cooling system serves as the ideal setting for the high tech performance, shifting the focus from the polished and comfortable to the mercy of the elements.


Robotics: AATB Computational Caustics: Rayform, EPFL Media planning: Arsaffix Sound Field Recording of ice: Jonna Jinton Commissioned by Sapporo International Art Festival 2024

Part of the research Project “A Third Hand – Creative Applications for robotics” écal Supported by proHelvetia

Video documentation: ©SIAF2024, Tsubasa Fujikura Photos: ©SIAF2024, Kusumi Erika