Justine Emard

Reborn | Co(Ai)xistence | Soul Shift

These three works, whose video extracts are shown here, interrogate the many layers of human – technology relationships. They encourage the viewer to rethink their notions about robots and artificial intelligence, to concentrate on their ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ instead of their utilitarian and scientific value. In these works, the robots are not malleable objects bowing to human orders. They are entities instilled with life, with individual modes of self-expression, driven by intricate artificial intelligent systems. Performance is a core component in all these works, and is used by the artist to distil the emotional currents of these interactions. As human lives become more and more enmeshed with technology, as the boundaries fade and the walls collapse, works like these may help us visualise our new realities.


2016, Video Installation

With Mirai Moriyama and Alter
(developed by Ishiguro Lab, Osaka University and Ikegami Lab, Tokyo University) Exhibition view solo show “Reborn » Earth + Gallery, Tokyo

In this video installation, a performer and a robot meet and interact in an intimate space. Alter is a “humanoid robot that awakens to the world when someone activates it”, and has its own forms of movement and voice, which are completely unique and not based on humans. The A.I. that powers Alter enables it to examine its atmosphere and make its presence known through its own sound and body language. The performer draws from the robot’s movements, and together they engage in a poetic dialogue, evoking the possibility of a world where life is not the sole property of humanity, and where man and machine intermingle in soulful and empathetic ways.


2017, Video Installation

With Mirai Moriyama and Alter (developed by Ishiguro Lab, Osaka University and Ikegami Lab, Tokyo University) Exhibition view, Cinémathèque Québécoise, Montréal

This artwork imagines an “interface between data and human emotion”. Face to face, the actor interacts with the robot, which is imbued with a kind of primitive intelligence developed by the Ikegami Lab at Tokyo University. The communication between them is abstract and unstructured. This work is an attempt to redefine traditional perceptions of human and A.I. relationships. It creates a space for coexistence and mutual understanding between natural and artificial life.

Soul Shift

2018, Video Installation

With Alter and Alter 2 (developed by Ishiguro Lab, Osaka University and Ikegami Lab, Tokyo University) Exhibition view Elektra x Hyundai Studio, Metamorphosis, Seoul

In this film, Alter, the humanoid robot whose movement is powered by A.I., meets an earlier version of itself, which is currently inactive. A spiritual “reincarnation” happens as a result, where the “memory” of the first Alter is carried over to the new version of Alter. The new Alter is mystified by the passivity of its older version, and moves toward it in a gesture of acknowledgement and love. This artwork reflects on the many ‘selves’ of a being – human or robot. It questions the notion of permanence and finality, and ponders on the plurality of all existence. 

Tête-à-tête with Justine Emard on

Performance, AI
and Video Art

Nov 11, 2020 / 17h30

Justine Emard (France), in conversation with Khayal, co-curator, Deconfine. Emard will talk about her artistic process, and throw light on the emerging field of artificial intelligence art around the globe. The video of the conversation will be posted here on Nov 11, 17h30. The same will be streamed live on Facebook accounts of Alliance Française in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Justine Emard (lives in Paris)is an artist whose artworks explore the new relationships that are being established between our lives and technology. By combining different image medias – from photography to video and virtual reality – she situates her work at the crossroads between robotics, objects, live 3D prints, organic life and artificial intelligence. Her works have been showcased across venues in Europe, America and Asia, such as the National Museum of Singapore, the Cinémathèque Québécoise (Montréal), the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), the MOT Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin) and the Barbican Center (London) and so on. She is currently in residence at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany. Credits: Portrait de Justine Emard par Jean-François Robert pour Télérama