Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pittsburgh Robot Art 250 Project

The work of graduate students, alumni and faculty from Carnegie Mellon University's College of Fine Arts will be featured in citywide art installations this summer as part of Pittsburgh's Robot 250 project. In collaboration with the Robotics Institute and various local and national scientists, Carnegie Mellon artists have created functional robots that can be viewed in various galleries, museums and outdoor installations in Pittsburgh beginning in June.

In the Robot 250 project, Carnegie Mellon artists move beyond classic artforms like painting and sculpture, instead using interactive technology as their medium. In these installations, artists do more than use robotic technology to create ar, they use art to critically examine robots and the modern environment that births them.

Famed artist Eduardo Kac notes in Art Journal that As artists continue to push the very limits of art… they introduce robotics as a new medium at the same time that they challenge our understanding of robots -- questioning therefore our premises in conceiving, building and employing these electronic creatures.

Art installations debuting this summer include the Double-Taker (Snout)” by Golan Levin, internationally renowned artist and associate professor at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Art. Featured at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts July 11 to July 17, the Double-Taker (Snout)” is an industrial robot arm that will follow the movements of its visitors, performing a startled double-take” in reaction to their presence. Installed at Flagstaff Hill July 11-July 27, Jennifer Gooch’s (MFA ‘09) Rise and Fall” explores the cycle of dominance and defeat throughout civilization’s history with a series of robotic flags that rise when approached by visitors. Ally Reeves (MFA ’08) created the Look-See Tree,” a tree-stump structure housing robotic animals that respond to viewers by hiding, making noises, shifting or even jumping. Like several of the Robot 250 ventures, this exhibit is mobile, traveling to various locations around the city April 18–Sept. 15.

Other artists featured in the Robot 250 project include Grisha Coleman, a fellow at the Carnegie Mellon STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Osman Khan, a visiting assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Art and Ian Ingram (MFA ‘07).

For more information on the Robot 250 project, including a full list of upcoming installations, classes and exhibitions visit


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