Saman Tehrani is a New York based engineer and artist. He holds a degree in Computer Engineering from his homeland Iran, and is currently studying his MFA at Parsons. He often uses robotics, sensory environments and physical computing in his works, in an attempt to technologically reincarnate concepts rooting from everyday life and its occurrence.
This is Not My Leg
Like many other artists, I also have the inclination of preserving my actuality. Preservation of my nature is a fundamental way for me to reflect back upon my life.
I find it so radically troubling to digest the idea of living a life, regardless of either the utopian or dystopian direction which our destiny would lean towards, in which we lose much of our biological physical aspects while attaining unbounded technological physicality. A life in which we are capable of cloning every single aspect of ourselves on the cloud. Not only will I be able to leave my dismembered leg’s abstract sculpture in some other place on earth to seamlessly mock my movements in realtime, but also I will be able to have independent omnipresent conscious duplicates of my physical self around the world.
I have designed and verbalized a fully personalized framework for acquiring my body’s physical states via arbitrary set of technologies, electrical or mechanical sensors, and streaming them live on network. This physical continuous record of my physical aspects will enliven the robotic sculpture duplicates of me. In the same time, all these data are being stored and preserved on the cloud that will in turn empower the sculpture to reenact these movements any time in future.
The work of art is called “This is Not My Leg”. It explicitly references the renowned painting “This is Not a Pipe” by the Belgian artist Rene Magritte’s in its title’s. “This is Not a Pipe”, also known as “The Treachery of Images”, is an illustration of a pipe which carries the statement “Ceci n’est pas une pipe.” at its bottom. The interesting confusion happens for me when I replace the “Pipe” with “Me” or “My Leg” in the idea that Magritte is expressing. Going past all the futuristic possibly ahead of us with the fast paced technology, where will be the fine line between the very “Me” and my clones. Is the virtual exact clone of “Me” who I happen to live in, the actual “Me” or is it just a representation?