Benjamin Grosser and Zack Browning

Head Swap for Amplified Violin and Interactive Robotic Painting Machine
violinist, computers, robotics, custom software, camera, microphone, mixer, speakers, projector, oil paint, canvas

Head Swap (2011) is a work for amplified violin and interactive robotic painting machine that mixes music, art, technology, and robotics into one multidisciplinary performance.  The machine, designed and built by Benjamin Grosser, uses artificial intelligence to paint its own body of work and to make its own decisions.  While doing so, it listens to its environment and considers what it hears as input into the painting process.  In the absence of someone or something else making sound in its presence, the machine, like many artists, listens to itself.

In its debut performance, the machine collaborated with violinist Benjamin Sung as he played music composed by Zack Browning.  Sung watches what the machine paints, using what he sees as guidance through the score.  The machine listens to what Sung plays, using what it hears to help evaluate what it paints.  Throughout, the machine also functions as a musical instrument itself, feeding pitched chords back into the work.


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