The artistic duo Nick and Rob Carter (husband and wife) is grappling with the technologies of the digital age in one of his most advanced projects ever.
Present at the Ben Brown Fine Arts gallery in London until April 17, 2020, the “Dark Factory Portraits” project (which I would translate with a license into “dark industrial portraits”) poses intriguing questions. For example: Can a robot make robotic but "human" portraits? Can you become a painter? In other words, can it transmit human personality onto the canvas?
How robotic portraits are born
Together with a team of software programmers and visual effects specialists, the Carters began to explore how much algorithms and robotic parts could progress towards a new creative standard.
The “Dark Factory Portraits” take their name from the “lights out productions”, the factories that work even in the dark. Because? Because robotic systems don't need to "see" what they are doing.
This is how the two artists through robotic portraits want to bring the viewers' attention to the world of future work. According to Deloitte, on the other hand, 35% of the world's jobs are likely it will be fully automated by 2035.
The Carters worked with programmers to optimize the code so the robot could paint both freely and with a very high level of detail. The resulting portraits (famous artists such as Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono and Damien Hirst) are among the earliest cultural artifacts of a nascent era.
The arm? It's called Kuka
Visitors to the exhibition will also be able to see the famous Kuka robotic arm in action while painting independently, without any human guidance.
So what will robotic portraits do? Will they receive applause and congratulations for their artistic sensitivity? Why do you whistle represent a job that will be stolen?