Yacov Sharir’s Automatic Body (1994)

Yacov Sharir’s Automatic Body is a piece of performance art that uses the Particle Swarm Optimization method or PSO, to convert human behaviors into sounds, images and movements. The piece is centered around a “cyber suit” that collects various data from the person who is wearing the suit. Among the data collected by the suit is EEG information, which is then transmitted via radio frequencies to create an image representing the data.


Sharir’s piece is significant in that it demonstrates just what amazing things can be done when you combine various technical computing techniques to create digital art. Being a performance piece also sets Sharir’s work apart from other digital or traditional works. This piece puts on a show for the viewer, making their experience more interesting.

This work is unique in that your physical actions while wearing the suit, create a reaction elsewhere (the final image, sound or movement). One could compare this cause and effect relationship to the social concept of accountability, Each action causes a different reaction.

Ultimately, I believe that this piece is effective. It is unique in that it entertains the viewer on another level, but also that it leaves them with a lot to think about. This piece is also very powerful due to the inclusion of computing techniques. This work would not be the same without the computing techniques incorporated and that says a lot about the positive impact that computing techniques can have on a piece of digital artwork.

Yacov Sharir’s Automatic Body (1994)

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