About the picture that greets the virtual visitor

The website shows part of the painting “The Gramineous Bicycle” by Max Ernst (1920).

Image Credit: moma.org

Max Ernst was an early twentieth century artist and pioneer of the Dada movement. Ernst was reportely fascinated with microscopic images, cutting edge technolgy at that time. The picture combines organic forms with mechanical parts. What you are looking at are microorganisms that ride bicycles. I like this painting because I find fascinating how emerging technologies produce new ensembles of organic and mechanic parts.

How exactly do microorganisms ride bikes? After all these are microbes doing bicycle riding. Don’t get me started on the important implication that this has for the field of artificial intelligence..

The painting is now located in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. There is also a large permanent exhibition of his work in Brühl, Germany.

More information:

At MoMa, New York

At Max Ernst Museum, Brühl

On wikiart.org

The painting in all its glory:

The Gramineous Bicycle Garnished with Bells the Dappled Fire Damps and the Echinoderms Bending the Spine to Look for Caresses by Max Ernst (1920), Cologne, Germany
The Gramineous Bicycle Garnished with Bells the Dappled Fire Damps and the Echinoderms Bending the Spine to Look for Caresses by Max Ernst (1920), Cologne, Germany
Andreas Liesenfeld
Andreas Liesenfeld
Postdoc in language technology

I am a social scientist working in Conversational AI. My work focuses on understanding how humans interact with voice technologies in the real world. I aspire to produce useful insights for anyone who designs, builds, uses or regulates talking machines. Late naturalist under pressure. “You must collect things for reasons you don’t yet understand.” — Daniel J. Boorstin

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