Petros Moris

Petros Moris, The Gift of Automation, 2018
Petros Moris, The Gift of Automation, 2018

The first self-operating machines, known as automata, have very ancient roots. They were developed by Mediterranean civilizations in the Hellenistic period and Middle Ages, serving not only as aesthetic awe-inspiring scientific innovations, but also as the objects of a learning process, free from the restrictions of closed guilds and cultural elites. They represent the cutting-edge technology of each era, but are also the creations of mythical intuition and poetic imagination. They embrace not just the ancient Greek myth, but also the powerful imaginary of human progress.
In his work, Petros Moris traverses the diachrony of technological culture and its connotations. Setting out from the earliest historical and mythological manifestations of automata and robots, his work, The gift of automation, is a series of sculptural installations that investigate the historical development and modern manifestations of automation. That is, of a field of applied science and philosophical inquiry that has influenced the thought of numerous political scientists, historians, and artists.

To create this work, the artist drew morphological and conceptual elements from the descriptions of ancient automata available on the internet, and retrieved, uncopyrighted models, as well as 3D renderings of public sculptures. At the realization stage, the techniques he used to turn this original content into a material form can be thought of as processes of computer-controlled production, ranging from 3D-printing to complex methods based on CNC technologies, combined with more traditional techniques, such as casting, mosaic composition and copper-electroformed PLA.

The sculptural installations are, upon construction, arranged on metallic stage platforms. As a new kind of "scenes", they are complemented by pictorial elements drawn from the urban underground and web-techno-culture, from street graffiti to vector graphics, and freeware fonts.

Through this blending of techniques with the ideological aspects of automation, in relation to urban space, Moris take his own position and "stance": he showcases automation not only as a timely, persistent technological category, but mostly as a timeless cultural pursuit, plastically reshaping the practices of allocated media, renewing the vocabulary of computing systems, and the experience of technological intention. Ultimately, he sheds light on the intersection point between the wishes and threats surrounding the evolution of the relationship between humanity and science, art and technique, freedom and control, discourse and mythology.

Thouli Misirloglou

12|10|2019 - 16|02|2020
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ΕΣΠΑ 2014-2020

Organising Institution