News

An artwork to watch out for


9 August 2012

In this installation, robots that have a capacity to learn and respond to their environment are embedded into the gallery's walls..
In this installation, robots that have a capacity to learn and respond to their environment are embedded into the gallery's walls..

A work co-created by Rob Saunders, a lecturer in design computing in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, was short-listed for the National New Media Art Award.

The work, created with artist and lecturer Petra Gemeinboeck, looks at our society's evolving relationship with increasingly intelligent machinery, and demonstrates how machines are an integral part of our social fabric.

Their installation, titled Zwischenräume ("Interstitial Spaces") 2010-11, features robots that have a capacity to learn and respond to their environment embedded in the gallery's walls.

When left to their own devices these robots break through the walls with a series of small holes through which they can see using their camera vision. When an audience is present the robots watch and follow their onlookers through the spaces they have made in order to enhance their knowledge and alleviate their own 'boredom'.

Occasionally they communicate, signaling to each other and working together. The robots reflect and share some human traits, demonstrating a level of autonomy that seems to suggest consciousness, or at least an ability to adapt to their surrounds.

The work will exhibited at the Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art until 4 November, alongside the seven other works short listed for the $75,000 National New Media Art Award.

New South Wales-based artist George Poonkhin Khut was the winner for his entry Distillery: Waveforming, a work that consists of a clip-on heart monitor, tablet computer and a program that shows the viewer a visual interpretation of their beating heart.

The National New Media Art Award is the most significant prize for new media art in the country, celebrating innovative works using a range of new technologies including digital animation, robotics, light and sound sculpture and interactive media.


Event details

What: Finalists of the National New Media Art Award 

When: Now until 4 November

Where: Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art, Stanley Place, South Bank, QLD

Cost: Free


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Media enquiries: Kath Kenny, 0478 303 173, 02 9351 1584, kath.kenny@sydney.edu.au