Outside Itself: The Art of Federico Diaz’s Robots.

Outside Itself: The Art of Federico Diaz’s Robots.

I am starting to notice a trend with robots making art. This time, it’s a little bit more complicated than Roombas doing their thing. Czech visual artist and architect Federico Diaz currently has a piece on display at the Venice Art Biennale that speaks to the idea of viral growth and uses robots to do it.

The piece is site-specific and consists of two robotic machines and an illuminated rectangle projected onto the floor. The art is a 3D structure made up of small black spheres created by the machines then placed in certain patterns. How these patterns are chosen, and ultimately how they are arranged, is affected by the viewer moving through and around the rectangle of light. The robots monitor the area of light and then shape the spheres accordingly. Each sphere represents one photon of light. The piece can produce and place up to 2,000 five-centimeter spheres every 12 hours.

The piece is supposed to be exploratory, tackling the idea of Viral Growth. The viewer participates in the way they interact with the illuminated rectangle, but beyond that we are not necessary. The robots take over and shape the constantly shape-shifting structure itself. The machines need us to help conceptualize the structure, but when it comes to actually producing it, humans are not involved. What is the art in this piece? Is it the robots building the structure or the structure itself? Federico made the robots. The robots made the structure. What’s next?

All images pulled from Designboom.


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