Open Call for Artistic Project: Exploring Robotic and Computational Creativity in Painting, Drawing, Calligraphy
Embodied Agents in Contemporary Visual Art (EACVA https://eacva.org/) is a collaborative research group inviting artists to participate for one year in a project focused on the intersection of robotic and computational technologies with embodied painting and drawing practices. The rapid development of generative AI tools for the creation of artistic content has led to speculations and debates about which entities can be perceived as creative artists. However, the modality of interaction between users and these systems is mostly disembodied, requiring the user to often only type instructions on a keyboard. In the EACVA project, we are instead interested in modes of physical interaction between the artist and the machine, exploring the different dimensions that embodiment might assume in this interaction. Our project aims to delve into the creative processes, agency, and aesthetic appreciation involved in producing materials-based paintings or drawings with robotic systems and explore their impact on contemporary art.
Project Description: Painting and drawing techniques involve a complex interplay between perceptual, cognitive, and physical processes. With advancements in computational and robotic technologies, we now have an unprecedented opportunity to investigate and gain deeper insights into these intricate processes. Our project seeks to explore relevant questions such as:
- What impacts can computational and robotic tools have on contemporary painting, drawing, and calligraphic practices, and how can these practices influence the development of such tools?
- What are the possible interactions between a human artist and/or a generative system (e.g., a neural network or an algorithmic procedure), a robot, and the public in the creation of an artwork?
- How does the use of robots to generate paintings and drawings influence the attribution of creativity, authorship, and agency to artificial systems?
- How does the human aesthetic appreciation of a material artwork produced by a robot compare to one presented as a digital image?
- How can AI agents, as a creative tool or collaborator, enhance the exploration of painting and drawing techniques, and what ethical and aesthetic considerations should be taken into account when integrating AI into artistic processes?
Our collaborative project brings together a diverse group of experts, including artists, philosophers, sociologists, psychologists, computer scientists, and robotics engineers. Throughout artistic residencies and workshops, participants will have the opportunity to develop methodologies informed by their respective fields of expertise while producing artworks using state-of-the-art robotic painting and drawing systems. To foster knowledge sharing, the resulting software code will be open source, contributing to the broader community of artists and researchers working on artistic applications of robotics.
Participation Requirements and Support:
The jury will select four projects for a 12-month residency period starting on 13.5.2024 and ending on 13.5.2025. Two projects will be based at the e-David lab (University of Konstanz), and two projects will be based at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Artists selected for this residency will have the freedom to work from their own studios while also participating in regular meetings with fellow project members.
Fees and support:
Each selected project will receive a stipend of 15,000 euros for the entire residency. This includes artists’ fees, travel, and accommodation expenses when visiting the labs. Some of the art materials could be covered by the hosting lab. During the residency, three workshops will be conducted, and participation is mandatory. Travel and accommodation costs for the workshops will be covered by the organizers.
Payment for the residency will be divided into three installments:
- 40% upon acceptance into the program.
- Another 40% after 6 months into the residency.
- The remaining 20% upon conclusion of the residency.
Resident artists and the research team will have frequent opportunities for exchange and collaboration. A crucial component of this exchange will be a series of three workshops, which will be hosted by different venues in the UK and Germany, allowing participants to interact with different academic and artistic communities.
- Opening workshop – Goldsmiths University London ( 13-14 May 2024)
- During the mid-residency workshop at CLB Berlin scheduled for September 18-20, 2024, we expect the artists to participate in a public talk, where they will have the opportunity to present and discuss their artistic projects.
- Final exhibition with closing workshop (Goldsmiths, spring 2025, dates TBC)
Once a month, our artists and team members will come together for a one-hour discussion to assess the progress of their individual projects. These meetings will be curated by our program’s Artistic Director and will include guest speakers chosen thoughtfully to cover a wide array of subjects, encompassing both technical and artistic realms. The primary aim of these gatherings is to cultivate a vibrant exchange of ideas among the participating artists and our team, fostering brainstorming sessions and encouraging the exploration of innovative solutions and concepts.
- Each artist should maintain a blog on our hosting webpage to document their work process using videos, photos, and text.
Exhibition and Publication:
Each project is committed to contributing an artwork for a final exhibition, which will be organised by Goldsmiths, University of London, UK, in the spring of 2025. Furthermore, we encourage participating artists to publish a paper about the developed artwork together with Goldsmiths and Konstanz University.
The exhibition aims to offer the public an informed insider view into the creative potential of machines. By combining state-of-the-art robotic and generative systems with historical contexts and didactic curatorial methodologies, we will gather quantitative data through visitor surveys to further investigate our research questions.
We invite artists from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to submit proposals that explore the theme of:
- On the use of modern computational (including AI) and robotic technologies, embodied via the visual arts (including one or more of the practices of drawing, calligraphy, and painting).
We welcome artists from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to submit proposals that explore visual arts (drawing, calligraphy, painting) themes through computational and robotic technologies. Projects with external institutional support, collaborations with academic institutions, and team applications and artists groups are all encouraged.
To apply, please provide:
- A detailed project proposal outlining your intended artistic exploration and how it relates to the project’s main theme (maximum 500 words).
- Timeline and financial plan (expected costs).
- A portfolio (max. 10 pages long + complementary links) showcasing your previous works, particularly those relevant to the use of technology in art (including links to digital portfolios).
- An updated CV/resume.
- Links on the web (profiles, complementary information about your practice, other relevant events you are/were involved in).
Submission and Deadline:
Please submit your application via email to Magdalena Lipska at mailto:email@example.com
For questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Artistic Director, Liat Grayver, at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
The submission deadline is Friday, 29.12.2023