Calyx from the cycle of 7 configurations

Marco Donnarumma

21 May 2019

Artificial leather, steel metal knife, AI robotic prosthesis, glass cases, wire ties

Calyx is a sculptural installation of variable dimensions, composed of multiple body relics in the form of leather garments. Each fragment has unique scars as a result of the manipulations of an artificially intelligent robot called Amygdala. The skins are, in fact, the results of the activities previously performed by the robot. At each Amygdala exhibit, the machine uses a steel knife to carefully cut and carve one of the skins, with no particular objective other than learning how to cut.

Donnarumma first produces the synthetic skin by hand, using a compound of organic materials he has designed. When it is ready, the fresh tissue is hung on Amygdala‘s body, which then begins its relentless cutting operation. By relying on an architecture of  neural networks, a method used to incorporate machines with limited “learning” abilities, Amygdala’s cutting movements cannot be predicted and vary greatly with each performance. The skins are, therefore, bodily relics that testify to the machine’s computational agency.