Shortly after the activation of robot Sophia in 2015, she was declared citizenship by the Kingdom of Saudi, becoming the first robot in the world to reach such heights. The world was ambivalent towards this genius creation, questioning the future status of human beings and the dominance of technology. With more and more artists incorporating technology in their works, it wasn’t long until a robot artist was in the making.
Ai-Da, the world’s first ultra-realistic humanoid AI robot artist, was invented by gallery director Aidan Meller and has herself become a piece of art. As a performance artist, she draws, sculpts and creates collaborative paintings with humans.
Her works centre on themes of identity and the great change coming our way in the future due to the rapid rise of technology. The robot’s inaugural exhibition, Unsecured Futures was presented at Lady Margaret Hall and St John’s College, University of Oxford in summer 2019, showcasing her drawings, plastic, silver and bronze 2D and 3D works.
Robot artist Ai-Da
Photographer Nicky Johnston
Ai-Da’s arms have been created in collaboration with Salaheldin Al Abd and Ziad Abass, who are also the minds behind the drawing algorithms used by the robot to resemble human art works that are inspired by 20th century masters including Pablo Picasso and German painter Max Beckmann.
On view at The Bazaar Capsule, eight exclusive paintings by the robot-cum-artist depict the complex relationship between humans and machines. The final artwork is a result of Ai-Da’s work layered with a human’s work to showcase the intersection between us and technology.
Exclusive and original works by the robot will be displayed during the five day event and on 11 October, the robot will present a live demonstration of her work followed by a Q & A with Meller and Bazaar Art’s editor-in-chief, Rebecca Anne Proctor.
But what does it all mean for human artists? Watch this space.
Watch: Bazaar’s Creative Content Director Katie Trotter explores the shift in how we connect fashion and technology today