Visionaire Autoportrait ADA0002 with Tellart

Visionaire Autoportrait ADA0002 with Tellart

October 13 – November 4, 2016

Come visit robot artist ADA0002 at the Gallery at Cadillac House. Pose for it. Witness ADA’s process. Collect your portrait: an artwork created by the eye and hand of a machine.
Exploring the metaphysical lines between art, artist, value, and the digital/material dichotomy, AUTOPORTRAIT confronts notions of the intrinsic soulfulness and meanings that may lie behind artworks created by the hand of a robot.

As we approach an era of matured artificial intelligence and blending of digital realms with the real world, these questions become ever more pertinent. For example: what happens when, through technological means of perception, automata are able to create with greater precision than their human counterparts? How will creativity be affected when an augmented human or AI can distinguish spectra of light and color that are beyond our native biological abilities? Through the frame of the art world, VISIONAIRE’s AUTOPORTRAIT seeks to ruminate on such assertions.

Eschewing traditional forms and classical conventions of portraiture— and looking decidedly toward the future—the format of the exhibition reveals the robotic artist, ADA0002, in situ in the studio/gallery. As audiences arrive to examine ADA’s processes, the Advanced Drawing Automaton examines back, selecting particular viewers for whom it creates a portrait. Using image processing algorithms, the artist - who is itself synthetic - stylistically synthesizes the image of its audience, transforming the viewer from a tangible being into processed computer data and back into a unique physical object/artwork. This artifact can be taken out of the gallery context and hung on the walls of the subjects’ homes, thus completing the cycle of this new artistic paradigm.

ADA as artist and exhibit—here subverting its own original implementation as one of many robots working a factory line, and imbuing in itself a sense of individuality and humanistic transformation– uses art creation to explore the personality of the individual that it draws. Considering that the exhibition is in the home of the preeminent American car-maker, Cadillac, which uses robots not unlike ADA to help build its vehicles, the new gallery context itself furthers this hypothesis on the possibility of a robot asserting its own personal idiosyncrasies and characteristics. In this sense, ADA physically mimics and synthesizes the behavior of an organic, sentient personality, while also synthesizing the image of an organic, sentient person. Here, in the same way that a traditional portraitist may gesturally attempt to elucidate for his or her viewer the essence of the sitter, ADA attempts to derive the soulfulness and essence of its subjects as well. The robot— whose name references the self-described “poetical scientist, analyst and metaphysician” Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), a technological pioneer considered the world’s first computer programmer—thus acts as a pioneer of these new concepts of robotic artistry. Through its inaugural solo gallery show, AUTOPORTRAIT, attempts to muse upon this notion of a blurring of the line between human and machine intelligence, and its potential consequences for the field of art.

TELLART is an award-winning international design firm that works at the intersection of the physical and digital, creating interactive objects, immersive spaces and digital experiences for brands, museums and multi- national companies. Over the sixteen years of the company’s history, it has been on the forefront of information and interaction design, creating interactive products and spaces that push technological boundaries to create incredible experiences. Tellart has been the recipient of numerous top international prizes including the SXSW Experimental, Cannes Lions, IxDA, Eurobest Grand Prix, Webby, Core77, and D&AD. This month, Tellart is being honored with the National Design Award in Interaction Design, awarded by the Smithsonian Institution. Tellart’s work is featured in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.
Tellart was founded in Providence, Rhode Island in 2000. Today, its offices are located in Providence; New York, NY; San Francisco, CA; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Dubai, UAE.

CADILLAC HOUSE is a meeting place where innovators, creators and the curious can find inspiration—and one another. Located in downtown New York City, Cadillac House represents the brand’s commitment to its new home, one of the most dynamic locales in the world. Open to the public, Cadillac House functions simultaneously as a gallery, retail space, café and exhibition area for the brand’s new vehicles - a venue with an ever-evolving Cadillac point of view on subjects beyond automotive design. Cadillac House has several partnerships including: New York-based coffeehouse Joe Coffee serving coffee and light fare, The Council of Fashion Designers of America maintaining a retail space dedicated to innovative design, and art and culture magazine Visionaire curating non-traditional, immersive and experiential works in the gallery area.

ADA0002 represents the second generation of an open-source drawing robot. The first, Sketchbot, was created by Tellart in 2012 for Google and Science Museum London, and acquired by the Smithsonian Cooper- Hewitt, National Design Museum for its permanent collection in 2014. ADA’s hardware is the ABB IRB1400, a 6-axis industrial robot, designed specifically for manufacturing industries that use flexible robot-based automation. Though primarily intended for welding, the robot has an open structure that is specially adapted for flexible use, making it an ideal platform for artwork creation.
The source code for ADA and Sketchbot are freely available online at GitHub. We encourage the world to use this code to experiment and create new generations of robotic artists.

Providing software development on the ADA project, LEAFLAB'S expertise is “moonshot computing.” The company was founded in 2009 on the premise that science not only happens in labs filled with shiny equipment, but also on cluttered workbenches in musty basements. Their headcount and project scope continues to grow, but they still go by the motto, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

Unlike traditional R&D, Leaflabs is focused on applicants and are committed to developing technology that solves the toughest challenges. Their big-picture expertise in managing a globally distributed organization, combined with the flexibility and creativity of a small team, allows LeafLabs to bring together the ingenuity of research and the speed needed for industry.
LeafLabs is continually growing as they take on new projects and enter new fields. Its engineers and scientists have brought expertise from top organizations such as Analog Devices, SpaceX, BBN, VMWare, and NASA.


Visionaire Autoportrait ADA0002 with Tellart
October 13 – November 4, 2016