Dragan Ilic, a Serbian-Australian-American artist, has created the DI-2K4, a fantastic fully articulating robotic arm that can hold and direct him as if he were a human paintbrush. The arm also can create completely independently of any human interaction or intervention, thus negating art as an activity solely exclusive to humans.
Ilic’s new project DI-2K4 represents a logical extension of his work from the past. The artist had obtained a large industrial robot (with articulated moving joints) used in factory production as an entirely new means of working implement. However, the circumstances are changed now in the sense that Ilic is no longer the one who is controlling or manipulating the machine (as was the case in his previous projects), rather it is his very own body that he now places at the disposal of a programmed machine, practically merging with it. The performative act of drawing or painting ceases to be an exclusively human activity and this simulation on the whole suggests to us both the repetitiveness involved in technological production, as well as representing a new stage of ritual or transgressive experiences of the author himself.