Amir Bastan

Vanishing Mediator


A robotic system blends two distinct ideas to create a visual narrative, analyzing its surroundings and using the data to generate prompts in real-time through three AI engines. This process questions the authenticity of creativity and the innovation of novelty!

The concept of the Vanishing Mediator, introduced by Fredric Jameson in “The Political Unconscious,” describes entities or processes that facilitate transitions between different stages or structures and then disappear. Jameson’s idea, further explored by Slavoj Žižek in various fields, highlights how these mediators, essential for change in social or political contexts, recede once their task is accomplished, akin to revolutionary leaders in politics or the Lacanian “objet petit a” in psychoanalysis. Similarly, the “Shahnameh” by Ferdowsi, a seminal work of Persian literature from around 1000 AD, narrates the Persian Empire’s history until the 7th century Islamic conquest, playing a key role in preserving Persian identity through tumultuous times. The existence of numerous “Shahnameh” manuscripts, each with unique variations and patron-driven modifications, underscores the text’s importance in cultural and societal evolution, reflecting the nuanced relationship between art, patronage, and identity across centuries.

The inquiry at the heart of “The Vanishing Mediator” revolves around what must disappear to sustain our desires?
This includes our longing for more intelligent, generative computations with distinct characteristics, modular robotic actions, and quantum-like pattern recognition.

The installation features “bunraku,” a software developed by the artist for behavior-driven interactions, utilizing the Spot robot with a 360 camera to observe attendees. It combines Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services, OpenAI’s API, Stable Diffusion, and Boston Dynamics Spot SDK to control the robot, process data, and generate content for the “Book of Kings.” All activities are coordinated in real-time using “vvvv”.


Creative Robotics –
FestivalX –
Qapture –


QuadrupedRobots, GenerativeAI, BehaviorTree, CreativeRobotics, psychoanalysis, OpenAI, Transference


vvvv gamma –
Bunraku –


Boston Dynamics Spot
INSTA 360 X3 Actioncam
Custom build micro controllers
Windows Tablet
PC Station
LED screen