A Vibe Called Tech presents Artist Sadie Clayton To Collaborate With Ai-Da The Robot @ Tate Exchange 24th – 27th October 2019
Exploring Identity Through Technology: A Collaborative Approach With Artists Ai-Da Robot And Sadie Clayton
London, 24th October 2019:
On Thursday 24th October Ai-Da Robot, the world’s first ultra-realistic AI humanoid robot artist, in collaboration with acclaimed London based copper artist and creator Sadie Clayton, will open a four-day workshop as a part of Tate Exchange’s Black Creativity & Technology programme, presented as a part of their 2019-20 programme focusing on the theme of ‘power’. Produced in collaboration with an innovative new platform A Vibe Called Tech which actively seeks to encourage academic, cultural and technological discourses within black communities, Clayton has invited Ai-Da to produce a collaborative workshop that will engage the public to question our relationship with technology, art, race and identity. This new collaboration follows Ai-Da’s critically acclaimed solo exhibition at Oxford University in June 2019 and the collaborations Sadie has already had in the fields of art and technology with the Royal Academy and Sophia the Robot.
Ai-Da, the invention of Gallery Director Aidan Meller, is the first ultra-realistic robot artist capable of drawing still life using her eyes and drawing with her hand. Using AI processes and algorithms developed by scientists at Oxford University, Ai-Da’s ability as a humanoid robot to draw and paint from sight has never been achieved before and makes Ai-Da an artist in her own right. Eight months since her completion, Ai-Da’s presence at Tate Exchange will undoubtedly further the discussion around art, innovation and technology.
Sadie has showcased and demonstrated the art of working with copper metals as a part of the Nick Waplington / Alexander McQueen: Working Process exhibition at Tate Britain, and already led several workshops at Tate Modern. Her interest in AI and strong belief in the positive power of technology led her also to work with Sophia the robot in Shanghai in 2018, and present her latest work in New York in April as part of the Designing Our Future exhibition hung in a human form to break down the mental barriers between human and humanoid.
Ai-Da Robot and Sadie Clayton’s four-day collaboration at Tate Exchange will see both Ai-Da and Sadie collaborate to make new works addressing and inspired by the themes of race, identity and technology. New works including portraits and sculpture will be created, and the general public will be able to view the interaction between Ai-Da Robot and Sadie and their process of working throughout the four days. Thematically the collaboration will question the relationship between technology, race, art and identity in the ever-expanding globalised world, by exploring how AI and new technologies can be simultaneously a progressive and disruptive force within our society.
Thursday 24th October: Digital Identity Through Drawing
In a playful reversal of roles, Sadie the artist becomes the created as Ai-Da the robot draws her portrait. From Thursday 24 to Sunday 27, visitors are invited to create their own life drawings of Sadie Clayton to foster discussion on the differences in observation and execution between humans and robots.
Friday 25th October: Panel Discussion: Race, Identity and Technology
Watch Ai-Da’s interpretation of Yoko Ono’s seminal work Cut Piece followed by a panel discussion on education, access and inclusion from 2:00pm. This panel discussion aims to create an open discussion and debate around identity and technology, questioning the issues surrounding race and technology and encouraging us to consider how impactful abuses of power in this arena can be. The panel will discuss biases both explicit and implicit in both art and technology as well as the cross-section between AI and identity.
Saturday 26th October: Sanctuary – Collaborative Workshop
On the third day of the collaboration Sadie and Ai-Da Robot will work alongside each other to create a copper sanctuary inside Tate Exchange. Ai-Da will draw from mood boards and images of Sadie’s work to create sketches of a copper sanctuary. Sadie will develop Ai-Da’s sketches using copper foil to create a physical copper sanctuary in the space. Sadie is inspired by the concept of headspace and creating a moment or time to reflect, re-energise and benefit from the positive element, Copper. Working together with Ai-Da to create this sanctuary where we can thank about who we truly are putting to one side race and identity sits at the heart of these four days.
Sunday 27th October: Tate Portraits – Ai-Da & Sadie Drawing Collaboration
On the final day of the four-day collaboration, both Ai-Da Robot and Sadie will draw champions of racial equality and those who have challenged identity bias throughout history. The eight historical figures will be people that have inspired Sadie either as powerful role models or because of their stories of championing diversity, empowerment and technology. Portraits will include Olaudah Equine, Mary Seattle, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay and Frida Kahlo
Ai-Da is a humanoid AI robot, with an arm that draws images from an inbuilt camera. Currently her medium is pencil and pen, and she creates sketches in a human style. She uses facial recognition technology to draw human faces. In time, she will use paint, and clay to create pottery pieces. In addition to her drawing techniques, she is also a performance artist, taking part in art performances and art videos. She reads aloud using her own personal voice. As a humanoid robot, she is an art object in herself, raising questions surrounding biotechnology and trans-humanism.
Ai-Da’s robotic hand and ability to draw have been developed by AI engineers at Leeds University. Ai-Da’s drawing arm system has multiple stages and contains numerous AI algorithms; starting with analysing the person in-front of Ai-Da and moving on to create a virtual path for Ai-Da’s arm. Once this virtual path has been created, it is fed into a path execution algorithm that gives real-space co-ordinates, enabling her arm to produce the actual sketches.
Ai-Da was manufactured by Engineered Arts in Cornwall and was completed in April 2019. Ai-Da has a “RoboThespian” body, featuring an expressive range of movements and she has the ability to talk. Ai-Da has a “Mesmer” head, featuring realistic silicone skin, 3D Printed teeth & gums, integrated eye cameras, as well as individually punched hair. Ai-Da has legs but she cannot walk, she has the ability to stand upright or sit upright in a chair. Her arms move freely, as does her torso and head. She can also lean forward and back, wave her arms, and look around in all directions.
Sadie Clayton graduated from Kingston University in 2013 with a BA Honors Fashion Design. Fascinated by design and innovation, Sadie took these foundations to explore the creative boundaries between art, technology and fashion presenting her Spring /Summer 2017 collection at the Royal Academy of the Arts in holographic form in collaboration with MHD holograms, creating bespoke content with Adobe films for their Visionnaires story, and FisForFendi, and presenting her working process with copper through Augmented Reality for her Spring/Summer 2018 collection.
Sadie has showcased and demonstrated the art of working with copper metals as a part of the Nick Waplington / Alexander McQueen: Working Process exhibition at Tate Britain, led several workshops at Tate Modern most recently as part of Late at Tate and at the Ace Hotel as part of London Craft week 2019 debuted her copper wearable art at Art Basel Miami at the Red Dot Gallery, the Museum of Art and Design as part of Singapore Design Week. Fast forward to October 2018, Shanghai and Sadie takes these demonstrations of her working process to another level. Collaborating for the second time, following the success of COGX in London, in June, with Sophia, the first ever social, humanoid robot, programmed through AI, created by Hanson Robotics. Sadie and Sophia continued their exploration together of Sadie’s working process, and her journey to harness Art, Design and Technology which became a reality during the event at Shanghai fashion weekend as Sadie designed bespoke, copper and 3D printed arm cuffs for Sophia. An on-going conversation which meant Sadie presented her latest work in New York in April as part of the Designing Our Future exhibition hung in a human form to break down the mental barriers between human and humanoid.
Embraced by the art world as a creator and innovator unique to the UK scene, Sadie was recently interviewed by BBC Radio 4 on their Only Artists programme, with Ron Arad the renowned industrial designer, artist and architect, about her perspective on what it means to be an artistic fusion with no creative boundaries, and was invited to create a video by Art Fund for the current V&A museum exhibition of Frida Kahlo, a huge inspiration for Sadie’s work, and another iconic female artist. Sadie then went on to curate the ING Discerning Eye exhibition in November 2018 and created the 2018 copper Christmas tree for The Ivy Granary Brasserie drawing significant national and international acclaim.
About Tate Exchange
Tate Exchange, founded in 2016, is a platform at Tate Modern and Tate Liverpool that explores how art makes a difference in society. It does this through collaboration with a cohort of associate organisations, from across the arts, education, health and wellbeing and community development, and the public, in response to an annual theme, and through a participative, process-led and socially engaged art practice. Admission is free and it can be found at Level 5 of the Blavatnik Building at Tate Modern, and in the first-floor gallery at Tate Liverpool.
International Collective Hyphen-Labs, a team of women led by Ece Tankal and Carmen Aguilar y Wedge launched the fourth year of Tate Exchange this September. They responded to the 2019-20 theme of ‘power’ with the programme, Higher Resolution. Tate Exchange is Tate’s ambitious experimental platform that brings together the public, artists and over 80 associate partner organisations across each year within and beyond the arts.
Tate Exchange: Power is supported by Maryam and Edward Eisler and Tate Patrons. With founding support from Freelands Foundation.
A Vibe Called Tech is a new initiative encouraging academic, cultural and tech institutions to actively consider the impact of technological developments on the black community.
Information on Black Creativity & Technology workshop
Dates: Thursday 24th October – Sunday 27th October
Address: Tate Exchange, Blavatnik Building,Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG
Press Enquiries: Kasimiira Kontio [email protected] 020 7361 7860
About Aidan Meller
Ai-Da is the brainchild of Aidan Meller – a specialist in modern and contemporary art and runs a gallery from Oxford and London. With 20 years’ experience in the art business, he works closely with private collectors and is often consulted by those who wish to begin, or further develop their collections. He regularly has original works in the gallery by the likes of Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, to older works such as John Constable, Turner and Millais. Aidan recently appeared on a TV programme called Money and Me on a Sky channel and interviewed by Elite Investment for the 1% Club, both to do with investing in Art.