Robot x Art

Whether stages, museums or galleries: Industrial robots can increasingly be found outside their traditional home, the production halls. The art scene is increasingly discovering the new technologies for itself.

The dancer elegantly nestles up to her dance partner. It glows in rich orange – and weighs over 500 kilograms. It is an industrial robot from KUKA. Instead of welding or palletizing in a production hall, the robot dances on a stage at the Augsburg State Theater. The focus of the ballet piece is on human-machine interaction, with technical programming juxtaposed with human consciousness. The audience follows the 360-degree production via virtual reality glasses from their sofa at home.

KUKA Roboter mit 17 Tänzerinnen und Tänzern des Staatstheaters Augsburg auf einer Bühne.
Dance of man and machine: The KUKA robot is one of the main actors in the piece “kinesphere”.
© Staatstheater Augsburg| Jan Pieter Fuhr

Dance with robots

This is not the first time that a KUKA robot has appeared on stage. New technologies and the field of tension between art, technology and society have inspired artists for many years. For example, the choreographer and dancer Huang Yi danced to cello sounds in a duet with a KR CYBERTECH. In his award-winning performance, he impressively combined human dance art with machine programming:

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Creative Robotics

The Ars Electronica Center, the Museum of the Future in Linz, Austria, also uses robots in exhibitions, labs and performances to explore digital society and the impact of new technologies on our lives. The exhibition “Creative Robotics” showed the possibilities of robots for new, innovative processes in the creative scene:

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Art made by robots at the Jewish Museum in Berlin

Thanks to machine learning or simpler programming, robots are increasingly flexible in their use – and not just in industrial halls. They thus also offer artists new creative techniques. At the Jewish Museum in Berlin, for example, a KUKA robot used a quill and ink to write Hebrew letters on an 80-meter-long roll of paper as part of an art installation:

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Portrait from a robot

And the prestigious Ben Brown Fine Arts Gallery in London hosted an exhibition of robot-made paintings. The exhibition ‘Dark Factory Portraits’ shows how the KUKA robot creates portraits of famous artists in acrylic:

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“Dark Factory Portraits”: robot portraits famous artists in acrylic.

Cover picture © Staatstheater Augsburg| Jan Pieter Fuhr

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