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.

AUTOPORTRAIT is open October 13 – November 4, 2016
The Gallery at Cadillac House
330 Hudson Street New York City
Mon – Fri 10am – 7pm Sat – Sun 10am – 5pm