A swarm of autonomous robots coined NEO worked at UCCA, Beijing, to produce nine large paintings. Based on simple rules and interacting with each other and the environment, these robots have created unique artworks. The human assistance was reduced to start and stop at the end of the day, charge batteries, and replace the colour pens. Actually, due to pandemic restrictions, I didn’t go to Beijing and had no direct interference in the process.
Such a degree of autonomy demonstrates that machines can be creative in a particular fashion. In the beginning, they make a kind of sketch with random lines but later on, they concentrate on some parts of the canvas to create a composition. The result is an abstract painting that suggests a kind of artificial landscape.
NEO robots performed at the exhibition “Immaterial / Re-material: A Brief History of Computing Art”, curated by Jerome Neutres for the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, September 26, 2020 to January 17, 2021.