Bio

Leonel Moura is a pioneer in the application of robotics and artificial intelligence in art.
In 2001 he created the first robot arm able to generate unique paintings operate by an ‘ant algorithm’. In 2003 a swarm of ‘Painting Robots’ were able to produce artworks based on simple rules and emergent behavior. Since then, he has produced several artbots, each time more autonomous and sophisticated. RAP (Robotic Action Painter), 2006, created for a permanent exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, is able to generate highly creative and unique art works, to decide when the work is ready and to sign it, which it does with a distinctive signature.
ISU (The Poet Robot), 2006, creates poems and paintings with letters and words. In 2007 he opened the Robotarium, the first zoo dedicated to robots and artificial life. Other works include 3D sculptures, interactive installations, augmented reality, generative art, space art and theatre with the play R.U.R. from Karel Capek premiered in São Paulo in 2010 with 3 robots performing aside 3 human actors.
With the project “Bebot”, a swarm of robots able to create unique art works, he has participated in the show “Artistes & Robots” in the Expo Astana (2017), Kazakhstan, followed by a new version of “Artistes & Robots” in the Grand Palais, Paris (2018), and “Brain”, Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (2019). The recently created swarm of robots, coined NEO, performed at UCCA, Beijing in 2020, in the exhibition “Immaterial/Re-material. A Brief History of Computing Art”.
He is one of the selected artists invited to open the new Museum “Diriyah Art Futures” in Saudi Arabia, dedicated to Digital Art.
In recent years he has established a partnership with “Movecho” a 4.0 company to create several sculptures generated by algorithms and produced by a large 3D printer.
He has an installation of 17 virus-like Augmented Reality sculptures in São Paulo.
He is represented in numerous private and public collections worldwide, including the largest digital art collection of the “Foundation Guy et Myriam Ullens”.
He is a member of the Portuguese Society of Robotics.
In 2009 he was appointed European Ambassador for Creativity and Innovation by the European Commission.
Leonel Moura promotes a new kind of art based on machine creativity.


Books
[ books can be ordered here ]

2023
Machine Talk: between Bard and ChatGPT, Bebot edition
Inteligência Artificial na Cozinha: 59 receitas do ChatGPT (portuguese) Bebot edition
Inteligência Artificial & Arte (portuguese) Bebot edition
século 20 | 20 century, Bebot Edition
2021
10 Manifestos da Arte, (portuguese) Bebot edition
2019
The Surrealist Robot, Bebot edition
Bebot, Bebot edition
Comet, Bebot edition
2016
Robots and Art, Springer
A invasão dos robôs, Aletheia
2015
Nonhuman Art, LXXL
2014
Symbiotic Art, facsimle reedition, LXXL
2013
Robot Art, LXXL 
2012
Hiperdesign, IADE edition
2011
“30 gramos”, Leonel Moura, Alvarellos Editor, (in spanish)
2010
“30 gramos”, Leonel Moura, Alvarellos Editor, (in galician)
Livro do Desassossego Tecnológico, Edition LxXL
2009
“30 gramas”
Poesia Robótica (Robot Poetry), Leonel Moura with ISU, Museu da Água de Coimbra
RAP, Leonel Moura, Edition Museu Municipal de Tavira
Robot Art, Leonel Moura, Edition Obidos Patrimonium
2007
Robotarium, Edition Fenda
2006
Potlatch (editor), Edition Fenda
2005
Bioart, a new kind of art, Edition: Galeria António Prates
2004
Man+robots: symbiotic art, Edition: Institut d’Art Contemporain
2003
Arquitectura Radical (et al), Edition Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno
Fogo em Lisboa, Edition Campo das Letras
Formigas, vagabundos e anarquia, Edition AAAL,
2002
Architopia, art architecture science, Edition CM Cascais
10 milhőes de razőes (et al), Edition Editorial Notícias
2001
Camera Lucida (et al), Edition Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff
Novo Ciclo (et al), Edition Editorial Notícias
2000
Les hommes poubelles, Edition Grasset/Moulat
Novas Cartografias (editor), Edition Fenda
1999
Terceira via (et al), Edition Fenda
Los hombres basura,Edition Iralka
1998
Anarquista com motorista, Edition Fenda
1997
Anos 70, Edition Fenda, Lisbon
Globalizacion y fragmentacion (et al), Edition Arteleku
1996
Os homens-lixo, Edition Fenda
1995
Impossibilité/Impossibilidade, Edition Nouveau Musée/Institut

Curatorial

2013
Beam me up“, Emanuel Pimenta, Genco Gulan, Holger Lippmann, Kas Oosterhuis, Ken Goldberg, Ken Rinaldo, Leonel Moura, Miguel Chevalier, ORLAN, Ozan Ertug, Stelarc, Suzanne Anker, Telmo Alcobia, Zaven Paré. 3D printed sculptures
LxFactory, Lisbon and Centro de Artes, Ponte de Sor
2009 
“INSIDE [art and science]”, Lisbon
2001
Utopia Biennial, Architopia, Human Genome International Conference, Cascais
1998
Expo’98, Territory Pavilion, Lisbon
1996
Artists/Architects, Belém Cultural Center, Lisbon
1995
Utopia Biennial, Art and Science, Cascais

Selected texts

“Robot Art: An Interview with Leonel Moura” in The Machine as Artist (for the 21st Century), Arts, Basel, 2018
Abstract: In the wake of his inclusion in the landmark 2018 “Artists and Robots” show at the Grand Palais in Paris, Leonel Moura reflects herein on his own work and its place within the broad spectrum of techno-art; and of particular current interest is his reliance as an artist on emergent phenomenon—i.e., the ability of relatively simple systems to exhibit relatively complex and unexpected capabilities—which has recently come back into focus with the spectacular ability of the “deep learning” family of computer algorithms to perform pattern recognition tasks unthinkable only a few years ago. (https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/7/3/28)
“Machines that make Art”, in Damith Herath, Christian Kroos, Stelarc, Robots & Art – Exploring an Unlikely Symbiosis, Springer, Heidelberg, 2016
Abstract: Robots can make art. Based on simple rules and stigmergy it is possible to produce unique artworks that are at least partially independent from the human that triggers the process. I have coined it a “New kind of Art”. (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301913525_Machines_That_Make_Art)
“Notes on a new kind of art”, MATLIT 3.1, 2015
(https://impactum-journals.uc.pt/matlit/article/view/2182-8830_3-1_11/1694)
“A New Kind of Art [Based on Autonomous Collective Robotics]”, (with Henrique Garcia Pereira), Footprint, Volume 8, Number 2, 2014
Abstract: The paper addresses the rationale of a process that produces artworks made by a swarm of robots. This process relies on the interaction, though the environment, of a set of robots designed to create spatiotemporal patterns from an initial homogeneous medium (the canvas). Inspired by social insect societies, the approach presented here exploits robot-robot and robot-environment interactions to develop emergent behavior. The swarm intelligence concept is crucial to this approach because the viability of the team (group of robots) is required in order to achieve the viability of the individual. Without any central coordination or plan, the group of robots produces its artworks on the basis of a data-driven (bottom-up) process. Moreover, each robot can be viewed as an autonomous agent because it has on board all the resources required to provide the global outcome of the experiment, including sensors, actuators, and the controller, which demonstrates a reactive behavior by reinforcing a previously made signal (positive feedback). The process is also presented in the context of Machine Art, and a detailed technical description of each robot is given, as well as an example of artworks produced by the collective behavior of the set of robots. (https://journals.open.tudelft.nl/footprint/article/view/809)

The Istanbul Manifesto”, 2011
“Emergence of Creative Machines”, in X-Agendas for Architecture, Experimentation in Design, Marc Schoonderbeek, Oscar Romans & Loed Stolte, TU Delft, 2011
“Robotarium X” in Antennae issue 9, The journal of nature in visual culture, 2009
Symbiotic Art Manifesto”, (with Henrique Garcia Pereira), 2004

Talks

2024. The great artist of the future will not be human, Thought Cycle, Teatro S. Luís
2024. The New Mindset, Building the Future 2024, Lisbon
2023. Inteligência Artificial e Arte, Pavilhão do Conhecimento, Lisboa
2023. Art & Science – Gathering of Creative Minds, ISPA, Lisboa
2023. Inteligência Artificial e Arte, ISTEC, Lisboa
2022. Artshare Festival, Hub Criativo Beato, Lisboa
2021. Ignite, Gerador, Oeiras
2021. Conversas no divã, ISPA, 2021
2019. Masterclass, Nonhuman Art, Berkeley Center for New Media, Osher Theater, BAMPFA, Berkeley
2019. Fundação Eugénio de Almeida, Évora
2019. STARTS, MAAT, Lisboa
2018. “A new kind of art”, UARTS, Philadelphia
2018. “Artificial Creativity”, Czech Technical University, Prague
2018. “Um novo tipo de arte”, ESBAL, Lisboa
2018. Institut Français, Lisboa
2018. Santander Masterclasse, Lisboa
2018. FFMS, Jardim Botânico Tropical, Lisboa
2015. Masterclass, InDeSem ’15, TU Delft, Delft
2015. Workshop, “Robot Driven Swarm Paintings”, Interactive Architecture, TU Delft, Delft
2012. Workshop, Mostra Nacional de Ciência, Lisboa
2012. TEDx Aveiro, Aveiro
2012. Technarte, Bilbao
2012. ISCTE, Lisboa
2011. Consciousness Reframed 12, CCB, Lisboa
2010. Masterclass, IADE, Lisboa
2010. Masterclass, ONI, Chiado Museum, Lisboa
2009. Ano Europeu da Criatividade e Inovação, CCB, Lisboa
2009. Launching of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation, Prague
2009. “A inteligência sensível do corpo”, Convento dos Capuchos, Caparica
2008. Masterclass, ISCTE, Lisboa
2008. “Mechanisms of Creativity”, Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisboa
2007. “Painting Robots”, FBAUP, Porto
2007. “Da inteligência artificial à arte artificial”, SPPP, Lisboa
2006. “A new kind of art. A new kind of robotics”, Shift, Lisboa
2006. “Robotic Art”, Best, Lisboa
2004. “True Unmanned Art”, Consciousness Reframed, The Planetary Collegium, Beijing
2002. “Nuevos paradigmas”, Centro Cultural Montehermoso de Vitoria, Vitoria-Gasteiz
2002. I Jornadas de Arquitectura, Consorcio de la Ciudad de Toledo, Toledo

Exhibitions

2024. Le geste créatif, Quai des Arts, Cugnaux
2023. O fim da arte tal como a conhecemos, Árvore, Porto
2022. The largest canvas painted by robots, Museum of Natural History, Lisboa
2022. Bienal de Trás-os-Montes, Macedo de Cavaleiros
2022. Ullens Foundation, Art Paris, Paris
2022. Robot Art, Teatro de Vila Real, Vila Real
2021. Robot Art, SMS, Guimarães
2021. NFT’s, Pavilhão do Conhecimento, Lisboa
2021. SP Viral, 17 Augmented Reality Sculptures placed at Paulista Avenue, São Paulo
2021. A star for Europe, 3D printed sculpture, CCB, Lisboa
2020. “Immaterial/Re-material: A Brief History of Computing Art”, UCCA, Beijing
2020. Voices, Museum of Natural History, Lisboa
2019. The Surrealist Robot, ISPA, Lisboa
2019. Brain, wider than the sky, Gulbenkian, Lisboa
2019. CGD collection, Centro de Artes Oliva, S. João da Madeira
2019. Lisboa Viral, Augmented Reality exhibition, Turismo de Lisboa, Lisboa
2019. “Voxel”, CPS, silkscreen edition with Augmented Reality
2019. Comet, Now Beato, Lisboa
2018. CGD collection, Centro de Artes, Ponte de Sor
2018. Artists & Robots, Grand Palais, Paris
2017. “Robótica: o estado da arte”, Era Digital e Robótica, Assembleia da República, Lisboa
2017. Artists & Robots, Expo Astana, Kazakhstan
2016. New Art Fest ’16, MUNHAC
2016. Ram Gallery, Rotterdam
2016. Game-on, New University of Lisboa
2016. Geek Picnic, St. Petersburg
2016. Geek Picnic, Moscow
2016. Centro Nacional de Cultura, Lisboa
2016. ANA Museum, Lisboa Airport
2016. Nefilum, Braga
2016. Centro de Arte Moderna, Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisboa
2015. Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisboa
2015. The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Lisboa
2015. Europa, 3D Sculpture for the European Commission, Lisboa
2015. The great artist of tomorrow will not be human, CCB, Lisboa
2015. Mons 2015, Mons
2014. The Chinese Paintings, Robotarium, LxFactory, Lisboa
2014. The Art Inside, 11 paintings for Nespresso, Robotarium, LxFactory, Lisboa
2014. Ram Foundation, Rotterdam
2014. PRO (Painting Robots Orchestra), Robotarium, LxFactory
2014. Artificial Comet, Robotarium, LxFactory, Lisboa
2014. “Beam Me Up!”, Centro de Artes, Ponte de Sor
2014. PRO (Painting Robots Orchestra), CCB, Belém
2014. Future Cities, Porto
2013. “Evolution” CPS, Lisboa
2013. “Beam Me Up!”, Robotarium, LxFactory, Lisboa
2013. PRO (Painting Robots Orchestra), CCB, Belém
2013. New Robotarium, Alverca
2013. Akbank Jazz Festival, Istanbul
2013. IN Festival, Lisboa
2013. 1813, Asedio, incendio y destrucción de Donostia, ST Museo, San Sebastián
2012. Design 2.0, Lisboa
2011. Paradigm Shift Serralves Collection 60’s 70’s, MUSAC, Castilla y Leon
2011. Launching of The Istanbul Manifesto at the Galata Perform, Istanbul
2011. Fundamentally Human, Pera Museum, Istanbul
2011. LIFE – version of science, Contemporary Art Center “Winzavod”, Moscow
2011. TechFest, Mumbai, India
2010. Arte e Social, ICS, Lisboa
2010. Ars Itineris, Museu de l’Art de la Pell ciudad de Vic, España
2010. ISU, new paintings, Robotarium, LxFactory, Lisboa
2010. Portugal Tecnológico, FIL, Lisboa
2010. ActaMedia 8, Architecture Faculty, University of São Paulo
2010. RUR, the birth of the robot, Theatre Play with robots, Itaú Cultural, São Paulo
2010. Artificial Emotion 5.0, Itaú Cultural, São Paulo
2010. Utopic Nights, Teatro-Cine, Torres Vedras
2010. Artomaton, MediaRuimte, Brussels
2010. Metasonic III, Goethe Institut, Lisboa
2010. CPLP Art Meeting, Centro de Congressos, Lisboa
2010. Nomadic.0910, Art School, Porto
2010. Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Lisboa
2009. “We are the robots”, Robotarium, LxFactory, Lisboa
2009. “Art Insect Robots”, IN-SONORA, IED, Madrid
2009. “Robot Art”. Universidade Nova, Caparica
2009. Fondación Botí, Cordoba
2009. DA Gallery, Berlin
2009. INSIDE [art and science], Cordoaria, Lisboa
2009. Espace d’Art Contemporain, Saint Martin, Montélimar
2009. Tese, Robotarium, LxFactory, Lisboa
2009. “20, 21”, Robotarium, LxFactory, Lisboa
2009. Academia das Artes, Ponta Delgada, Azores
2009. Arte de Capacitar, Robotarium, LxFactory, Lisboa
2009. Institute of Intermedia, Prague
2009. Museu da Água de Coimbra, Coimbra
2009. Museu Municipal de Tavira, Tavira
2009. Galeria NovaOgiva, Obidos
2009. Museu Municipal de Loures, Loures
2009. SPOT, Lisboa
2009. Teatro da Trindade, Lisboa
2009. Encontro Nacional da APECV, Viseu
2008. “Robot Art”, LMA Gallery, Arte Lisboa, 2008
2008. “Insect Robots”, LMA, Lisboa
2008. SHiFT 08, Lisboa
2008. Emergęncia, Bienal Internacional de Arte e Tecnologia, Itáu Cultural, Săo Paulo, Brasil
2008. Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid
2008. “Voronoi”, LMA, Lisboa
2008. Museu Grăo Vasco, Viseu
2008. “Made in NY”, LMA, Lisboa
2008. Museu da Cidade, Almada
2008. “Para acabar de vez com a História da Arte”, LMA, Lisboa
2008. “Evolution Haute Couture: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age”, XXX Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF), Moscow
2008. “Evolution Haute Couture: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age”, National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Kaliningrad
2008. Made in New York, 12 drawings by RAP, LEONEL MOURA ARTe Gallery
2008. End of The History of Art, several robots, LEONEL MOURA ARTe Gallery
2007. ISU: Senseless Poems, LEONEL MOURA ARTe Gallery
2007. “Alive!”, FastForward, Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, Naples
2007. Olhares de Outono, UCP, Porto
2007. Robotarium, Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Lisboa
2007. “Poemas sem sentido”, LMA, Lisboa
2007. “The Lettrist Robot”, ArtEscapes, EvoMusArt, Valencia
2007. GA2007, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
2007. How to teach a robot to kill the father, Universidade de Évora, Évora
2007. Art Flow, ISEG, Lisboa
2007. Codebits, Sapo, Lisboa
2007. Cidades Criativas, CAELO, Odivelas
2007. Creative Cities, ANMP, Oeiras
2007. From Artificial Intelligence to Artificial Art, Psicanálise e Mudança, Lisboa
2007. Robot Art Gallery, works by BOTME robot, Lisboa
2007. Robot Art Gallery, works by MBOT robots, Lisboa
2007. RAP, Hall of Human Origins, American Museum of Natural History, New York (permanent collection)
2007. Lycée Grandmont, Collection FRAC Centre, Tours
2007. Museu Arqueológico do Carmo, Lisboa
2007. Robotic Art, Cięncia Viva, Aveiro
2006. Arbots, Gent: The Robot Talent Show, Gent
2006. “Dada 2.0”, António Prates Gallery, Lisboa
2006. “Tara”, Pavilion of Knowledge, Lisboa
2006. “Art and robots”, IAC, Azores
2006. Robotic Art, ISCTE, Lisboa
2006. Robotic Art, ESTC, Amadora
2006. Creative Commons, UMIC, Lisboa
2005. Artware3, 2005, ICPNA, Lima, Peru
2005. Mbots, 2005, Ram Galerie, Rotterdam
2005. “Robots!”, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
2005. Mbots, CCB, Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisboa
2005. Mbots, Flash Art Show, Bologne
2005. Mbots, Serralves, Porto
2005. Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Rotterdam
2005. Bioart, António Prates Gallery, Lisboa
2005. XIII Biennial, Vila Nova de Cerveira
2005. Théâtre de Privas Gallery, France
2005. Lattuada Studio, Milan
2005. Trayecto Gallery, Victoria
2005. Luis Serpa Gallery, Lisboa
2005. “Bioart”, Institut Franco-Portugais, Lisboa
2005. Post-Human, Ler Devagar, Lisboa
2004. “Artbots”, The Mink Building, New York
2004. Artech, Lisboa
2004. “Artbots”, ICHIM Berlin 04, Berlin
2004. Painting Robots, Accademia di Brera, Milan
2004. Symbiotic Art, António Prates Gallery, Lisboa
2004. “Painting Robots”, GA2004, Milan
2004. “Robotic Paintings”, Trayecto Gallery, Arco, Madrid
2004. “Gezamtkunstbotwerk”, Lisboa Arts Center, Lisboa (A concert with humans and robots. Process: the robots make a painting. Their behavior stimulates musicians to generate a music composition which in turn creates the choreography for the dancers)
2004. Mourabots, IST, Lisboa
2004. Symbiotic Art Manifest, CNC, Lisboa
2004. Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris
2004. Frédéric Giroux Gallery, Paris
2004. Fundación el Monte, Sevilla
2004. Art & complexity, the Mourabots, Universidade de Évora, Évora
2003. Palacio de la Merced, Cordoba
2003. “Portable Gardens”, Valencia Biennial, Valencia
2003. Atelier Culture, Dunkerque
2003. Artificial Life, Institut Franco-Portugais, Lisboa
2003. Art & ants, Bienal de Cerveira, Vila Nova de Cerveira
2003. Art & ants, Galeria ZDB, Lisboa
2002. Ants, trails and anarchy, Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno, Canarias
2002. New ideas for art, Real Fundación de Toledo, Toledo
2002. AVIDA, Ler Devagar, Lisboa
2002. Artificial Life, INSA (Institut National des Sciences Appliquées), Lyon
2002. Voronoi, Museu de História Natural, Lisboa
2002. Voronoi, Proyecto Gallery, Vitoria
2002. Le Rectangle, Lyon
2002. Fundación del ICO, Madrid
2002. RGB collages, Atelier, Lisboa
2002. Université de Nanterre, Nanterre
2002. Melancolie, Hall des Humanités, Insa, Lyon
2001. Ram Galerie, Rotterdam
2001. António Prates Gallery, Lisboa
2000. Meta architecture, Trem and Arco Gallery, Faro
2000. MEIAC collection, Centro Cultural de Cascais, Cascais
1999. Trans-ports, Institute of Contemporary Art, Villeurbanne
1999. Museu Abade de Baçal, Bragança
1998. Quadrado Azul Gallery, Porto
1998. Bianca Gallery, Palermo
1998. Sociedade Martins Sarmento, Guimarăes
1998. CCB, Lisboa
1997. Visor Gallery, Valencia
1997. Quadrado Azul Gallery, Porto
1997. Serralves Foundation, Porto
1997. FRAC, Orléans
1997. Sala da las Atarazanas, Valęncia
1997. Ayuntamiento de Pamplona, Pamplona
1997. Sala Amárica, Alava
1996. Leonel Moura and Andrés Serrano, MEIAC (Museo Extremeńo e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo), Badajoz
1996. DV Gallery, San Sebastian
1996. MEIAC, Badajoz
1996. Quadrado Azul Gallery, Porto
1996. Sala Canal de Isabel II, Madrid
1996. Kunsthalle Wien, Viena
1996. Gabrijel Gallery, Sarajevo
1996. Nouveau Musée/Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne
1995. Oliva Arauna Gallery, Madrid
1995. Ram Galerie, Rotterdam
1995. Kunstlerhaus, Dortmund
1995. Verney-Carron Gallery, Villeurbanne
1995. Works, retrospective 1985/1995, Nouveau Musée/Institut, Villeurbanne
1994. Sculpture City, RAM Gallery, Rotterdam.
1994. Árvore Gallery, Porto
1994. Graça Fonseca Gallery, Lisboa
1993. Ram Galerie, Rotterdam
1993. Claude Fain Gallery, Paris
1992. Graça Fonseca Gallery, Lisboa
1992. Oliva Arauna Gallery, Madrid
1992. Diferença Gallery, Lisboa
1991. Graça Fonseca Gallery, Lisboa
1991. Centre Saint-Vincent, Herblay
1991. Diane Brown Gallery, New York
1991. Fluxus Gallery, Porto
1990. Oliva Arauna Gallery, Madrid
1990. Valentim de Carvalho Gallery, Lisboa
1990. Diane Brown Gallery, New York
1990. Acta Gallery, Milan
1989. Graça Fonseca Gallery, Lisboa
1989. Benet Costa Gallery, Barcelona
1989. Bébert Gallery, Rotterdam
1989. Montenegro Gallery, Madrid
1988. Meyers/Bloom Gallery, Los Angeles
1988. Cómicos Gallery, Lisboa