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First Ever Robot Artist Has Solo Gig
One of Ai-Da’s main influences is Yoko Ono.
Entertainment 29 Apr 2019

Ai-Da is the first “ultra realistic drawing robot artist” and, despite having no real thoughts or feelings, she will have her first exhibition this summer. Unsecured Futures at Oxford University will include Ai-Da’s drawings. She will also give a performance, in homage to Yoko Ono’s ‘Cut Piece’, where Ono sat on a stage with a pair of scissors, inviting audience members to cut off pieces of her clothes and keep.
Ai-Da was created by gallerist Aidan Meller. He was helped by professors and post-PhD students at Oxford University and Goldsmiths College of art, who designed the creative programming for her artwork.

As well as Ai-Da’s work, other artists will be exhibiting work developed using new technologies. The aim of the exhibition is to ask viewers to question the ethics of how new technologies are used. 

Unsecured Futures takes place between 12 and 30 June 2019 at Lady Magaret Hall and St John’s College, Oxford and Aiden Meller Gallery, Oxford

Ai-Da’s exhibition touches on the increasing tensions between man and machine in a world where technology is more pervasive than ever, showcasing large-scale video, sculpture, abstract painting and still life drawings of people she’s met.
The humanoid uses techniques that are worryingly human-esque, including drawing people from life “using her eye and a pencil in her hand”, an ability its creators from Oxford University claim to be a world-first.


Lucy Seal, Researcher and Curator for the project, said: “We are looking forward to the conversation Ai-Da sparks in audiences. A measure of her artistic potential and success will be the discussion she inspires. Engaging people so we feel empowered to re-imagine our attitudes to organic life and our futures is a major aim of the project.”

Aidan Meller, Gallery Director added: “Pioneering a new AI art movement, we are excited to present Ai-Da, the first professional humanoid artist, who creates her own art, as well as being a performance artist. As an AI robot, her artwork uses AI processes and algorithms. The work engages us to think about AI and technological uses and abuses in the world today.”

After reading the official description of Ai-Da, (which is truly horrifying) I’m definitely thinking long and hard about AI: “she has a ‘Mesmer’ head, featuring realistic silicone skin, 3D printed teeth & gums, integrated eye cameras, as well as individually punched hair” and, her creators claim, a “robothespian body”. Maybe she’s not much like us after all.

Text by Lizzy Vartanian
Images via instagram, Dazeddigital

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