Shardcore / The Fortune Cat
As part of The Art of Bots showcase, Shardcore (Eric Drass) presented The Fortune Cat.
The Fortune Cat is a giant mechanised replica of a Maneki Neko, the Japanese talisman of wealth and popularity. The moving arm traditionally symbolises the plucking of money or people from the air. Generative spoken and sung audio allows the visitor to put this strange intention into a contemporary socio-political context. This work looked at the strategies and actions which seek to pluck satisfaction from our surroundings, to accumulate somehow a feeling of safety and comfort. It is a golden idol which externalises a widespread unspoken belief in luxury or fame as a personal, spiritual solution.
Eric Drass is an artist and curator who makes work in a range of media, from painting, to digital installation, to generative experiments which live on the net. Some of his favourite themes are identity, consciousness, the philosophical ramifications of artificial intelligence, big data and the relationship between humans and machines. Sometimes this work is political, frequently it is playful, often it is provocative or transgressive in some way. His works are frequently reported and cited online (The Guardian, BoingBoing, b3ta, Imperica, Computer Arts and Wikipedia etc.)
Eric holds a degree in Philosophy and Psychology (Oxford) and an unfinished PhD in Cognitive Psycholinguistics (also Oxford). He is co-author on a number of patents dealing with PRISM-type surveillance technologies (long before PRISM became public), and a number of academic papers relating to neural network models of language acquisition and heritability.
He also used to be a singer in an experimental hardcore band, an unsuccessful male model, and once took at dotcom 1.0 company from a bedroom project to 14 countries and back, spending $50m on the way. Twenty years ago he was a TV star in America, but he doesn’t like to talk about it.