The Augmented Fish comprises five rolling robotic fish bowls designed to explore interspecies and trans-species communication. In these interactive mechanical sculptures, Siamese fighting fish use intelligent hardware and software to move their fishbowls anywhere they desire.
By moving about, they choose to interact with their environment and other Siamese fighting fish, which can also see clearly beyond their glass bowls and control their fish cars.
These works premiered and were invited by the European Capital of Culture, Lille France 2004, commissioned by Director Richard Castelli.
In an article entitled Learning in Fishes (Fish and Fisheries, 2003, vol. 4), editors Dr.s Kevin N. Laland, Culum Brown, and Jens Krause discuss revisions in thinking about fish intelligence, which seems much more significant than was formerly imagined. It is now believed that fish are “steeped in social intelligence.” The article reports that fish pursue “Machiavellian strategies of manipulation, punishment, and reconciliation” while displaying “cultural” traditions and cooperation to elude predators and obtain food. It is said that fish track the relationships of other fish in their environment and even monitor the social prestige of other fish.
It is now widely supported that fish build nests (such as the Siamese fighting fishes’ bubble nests) and exhibits “impressive long-term memories.”
Each robotic fishbowl in Augmented Fish Reality has four accurate infrared sensors. As each fish swims in front of the sensors, it activates the microcontroller, which activates motorized wheels in each fish vehicle. The sensors allow the fish to move the robot forward and backward and to turn it left or right.
Humans interact with the work simply by entering the environment, which often draws the fish’s gaze. Still, important these robots are under fish control (interactive art for animals), and the fish will choose to approach and/or move away from human participants whenever they choose.
Siamese fighting fish are top breathers, so they are comfortable in an oxygen-deficient environment. They take gulps of air from the surface to get enough oxygen, and a larger bowl, such as the ones used here, are excellent as a long-term habitat since there is a large area of water in contact with oxygen.
This living environment also includes peace-lily plants that absorb and prosper from the fish waste and, in turn, provide oxygen to the fish. Stones in each tank make the fish’s world more natural, friendly, and complex. There are both male and female fighting fish, and the robots are designed so that the fish can get within 1/4 inch of each other for visual communication.
Additional elements to this interactive installation are small lipstick video cameras mounted on forty-five-degree angles under one of the bowls that project images onto the gallery walls from the fish’s perspective.
During presentations, many ask, “Do the fish discover the interface?” I respond that I have yet to be able to ask them, although the fish certainly do move the tanks around.
The issue of this being random or not is, for me, irrelevant. The main issue is asking the question, acknowledging that fish are bright and, given more research, can and will meld into an interface.
Each successive stage of this project will continue to evolve the first fish-controlled robots, the Augmented Fish Reality.
I believe that we will eventually better break down inter-animal barriers by analyzing animal behavior, motivations, and communication strategies with statistical vision systems and computers.
We will be able to decode their behaviors with animal communication and environmental interaction, which will be exciting as it also reveals things about the human animal. In 2022 this is now being researched using AI and generative adversarial networks.
Letters from Dr. Culum Brown, a leading fish researcher, suggest that he is convinced that if the fish grow up in this environment, they may learn to use the interface, especially if rewarded with food.
Currently, the only reward the fish get is the social interaction of meeting each other across the gap between the glass and seeing other viewers.
Their environments are complex and rewarding. Robots are very good at sensing and responding to fish and human actions.
LUMOS GALLERY, Columbus, Ohio, 2014
3 robots of Augmented Fish Reality Invited by Kayla & Nick Davis
MAISON d’AILLEURS, MUSEUM OF SCIENCE FICTION, UTOPIA & EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEYS Yverdon-Les-Bains, Switzerland Sept-Mar 2010-11 Augmented Fish Reality. Invited by Director Patrick Gyger. Catalog produced
CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER WINZAVOD Moscow, Russia, March –April 2009
Artist documentary about The Augmented Fish Reality. Invited by curator Dmitry Bulatov.
THIRD MOSCOW BIENNALE Moscow, Russia, Sept 2009-Nov.-2009
Evolution Haute Couture: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age. Artist documentary about The Augmented Fish Reality. Invited by curator Dmitry Bulatov.
NATIONAL CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS Kaliningrad, Russia, July 2008
Evolution Haute Couture: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age Presenting Artist documentary about The Augmented Fish Reality. Invited by Dmitry Bulatov
IX MEDIAFORUM 2008 MOSCOW INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Moscow, Russia, June 23-26 2008
Evolution Haute Couture: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age Presenting Artist documentary about The Augmented Fish Reality. Invited by curator Dmitry Bulatov, co-curator Olga Shishko
PURDUE UNIVERSITY GALLERIES West Lafayette, Indiana. Mar 3 –Apr. 20, 2008
The Autotelematic Spider Bots, Augmented Fish Reality, Our Daily Dread, Farm Fountain, and Machinic Diatoms. Invited by curator Craig Martin. Catalog produced.
CENTRO NACIONAL DE LAS ARTES Mexico City, Mexico, October 13 to 19, 2007
Transitio_MX Festival Internacional de Artes Electronicas Y Video features the Augmented Fish Reality installation. 02 Invited and curated by 060 Daniela Wolf
WORLD OCEAN MUSEUM Kaliningrad, Russia. Sep. 2006
Augmented Fish Reality curated by Dmitry Bulatov.
MUSKINGUM COLLEGE, CALDWELL HALL Muskingum, Ohio. Apr. 2006
Augmented Fish Reality & AutoTelematic Spider Bots curated by Ken McCollum. Invited.
MEDIA ARTS MADRID AT THE CONDE DUQUE CULTURAL CENTRE Madrid, Spain. January 18th to 20th February 2005
“Banquet communication in evolution” exhibition. Display Augmented Fish Reality curated by Karin Ohlenschläger and Luis Rico. Invited
GALERIA ANTÓNIO PRATES Lisbon, Portugal. Sep. 23, 2005
Five robots of Augmented Fish Reality curated by Leonel Moura. Invited
OK CENTRUM FOR CONTEMPORARY ART, ARS ELECTRONICA Linz, Austria. Sep. Nov. 17, 2004
CyberArts 2004 juried exhibition. Award of Distinction in the Interactive Arts Category. Displayed three robots of Augmented Fish Reality.
BIENNALE ELECTRONIC ARTS Perth, Australia. Sep. 7th – Nov.17, 2004
Bio Difference exhibition curated by Oron Catts and Ionatt Zurr. Displayed three robots of Augmented Fish Reality. Invited. MUSEO DE ARTE DE CALDAS, IV INTERNATIONAL IMAGE FESTIVAL CALDAS UNIVERSITY Manizales, Colombia. Nov. 2004
Three robots of Augmented Fish Reality and present a paper on my work. Workshop on Basic Stamp 2. Invited
LILLE INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL Lille, France. Dec. 2003 – Mar. 2004
The premiere of the five robots of Augmented Fish Reality commission, Mediated Encounters, and Autopoiesis, as part of an exhibit on robotic art curated, commissioned, and Invited by Richard Castelli.
ANTENNAE, The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, Ken Rinaldo, and Culum Brown – The Social Intelligence of Fish, by Ken Rinaldo
Bioart Theory of Bioart By Pan Ca pg 60 Augmented Fish Reality
INSIDE Arte E Ciência 2009, Lisbon, Portugal, edited by Leonel Moura, 2009, Paparazzi Bots, by Ken Rinaldo. Pg 202-207
Art and Science: How Scientific Research and Technological Innovation are becoming key to 21st Century Aesthetics, Thames and Hudson, by Steven Wilson, 162, 111, 129 2010
DO ROBOTS DREAM OF SPRING? – The Art of Ken Rinaldo at the Maison d’Ailleurs. Retrospective with forward by Bruce Sterling and Patrick Gyger. Yverdon-Les-Bains: September 19, 2010, to March 20, 2011
Art & Animals Giovanni Aloi, LB Taurus and Co. 2012, Pg 108-109
Lille France Robots Show curated by Richard Castelli, 2004
ARS ELECTRONICA Linz, Cyberarts Catalog, for Award of Distinction for Augmented Fish Reality.
Bioart A New Kind of Art Group Exhibition curated by Leonel Moura at Antonio Prates Gallery
Umbigo Magazine, The Spring Dreams of Ken Rinaldo by Mariana Machado, 12/11/13
Neoplastic Design pgs 16 mentions Augmented Fish Reality work by an Arzumanyan
Do Robots Dream of Spring? Ken Rinaldo exhibit at the Swiss Museum of Science Fiction September 21, 2010, by Nicolas Nova.
Технологии в фокусе искусства: очарование и вызов промышленности и инновации, Иннопром-2011 pgs 21 & 66 Augmented Fish Reality
Jueves, La Patria, El Periodicio de Casa, Interes Por La Technolgia review of Augmented Fish Reality at Museo de Arte de Caldas Nov. 11, 2004
Jalouse Magazine, Russia: http://www.jalouse.ru coverage of Augmented Fish Reality, Nov. issue http://www.jalouse.ru
The Australian, Put on the lab coats, bring on the clones by Victoria review of BioDifference show and Augmented Fish Reality by Laurie Oct. 01, 2004
Realtime Magazine, “The gallery reconfigured: BioDifference: The Political Ecology “by Tony Reck, review of Biodifference and Augmented Fish Reality, 2004.
DerStandard.at Germany, review of CyberArts Exhibition and Augmented Fish Reality by Markus Mittringer 3.9.2004
Art TV Magazine, Kenneth Rinaldo: Augmented Fish Reality – eine Installation mit Fischen und Robotern für geduldige und ungeduldige Besucher, 3 pages, by Jen Hauser
Laser Reproductions Inc. Ohio Collection Augmented Fish Reality & 1 Autotelematic Spider-bot 2006
The Parallax Corporation, California Augmented Fish Reality robot 2004
Design and Concept: Ken Rinaldo
Electronic Design and microcontroller programming: Ken Rinaldo
3D modeling visualizations: George Faerber
Metal Fabrication: AllFab Inc. Columbus, Ohio Russel Roth Jr/Sr