Long distant art

By | Category: Travel news

Alex Kiessling and his robot

For the first time ever, on September 26, Trafalgar Square will attract Londoners and tourists by the thousands for a one-of-a-kind long distance art event initiated by Viennese artist Alex Kiessling.

Words like “first time” and “one-of-a-kind” are widely used but in this case they are true. Kiessling will create, simultaneously, a unique triple drawing in Vienna, London and Berlin, using advanced robotic technology.

Every movement of the artist creating his drawing in Vienna will be captured by cutting-edge sensors, transferred via satellite to two robots, in London and Berlin. They will instantly replicate the drawing and the two replicas will not be photocopies. The two robots, using the same tools as the artist, will act exactly as the artist will, at the same micro-second. If he errs, the robots will. To the public eye each robot is drawing apparently by-itself. Next to it, on large screens, Alex Kiessling will be creating the original drawing in Vienna.

About this new concept in art, Kiessling said, “If Andy Warhol’s Factory was a collection of assistants who carried out the work of their master, then the idea of robotic assistance redefines the concept completely. In this process several pieces come to life at the same time in different cities worldwide. In a decentralized global workshop or studio.”

This international event is supported by the Vienna Tourist Board . Vienna which was highlighting Klimt , one of its famous painters, last year wants to prove that it is also a vibrant and creative city in contemporary art. Norbert Kettner, CEO of the Vienna Tourism Board explains: “Vienna’s long and illustrious artistic tradition provides fertile ground for artists. Art in all its forms has always played a part in the lives of the city’s inhabitants – and much more so than in most other major cities. The Long Distance Art project is designed to focus attention on Vienna’s vibrant contemporary art scene, drawing a contrast with the rich cultural heritage that the Austrian capital is famous for. A city that only has eyes for the past does not deserve such a heritage – which is why Vienna is more than happy to show off its contemporary side.”

For the public who would like to come down to see this challenging world-first art project, the free show will be on in Trafalgar Square from 10 am to 5 pm on September 26th.

The combination of new technologies and art asks us an unsettling question. For art collectors which one will have the greatest value, the original Kiessling drawing or the first ever made robot replica?

Image © Wien Tourismus and Michael Stelzhammer
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