Eve of Dust is a collaborative performance and installation between humans and a robot. The work draws on both the possibilities and anxieties arising from the collaboration between humans and emerging intelligent systems personified in the robot.
Eve of Dust is a collaborative performance and installation between a human and a robot. The artwork draws on both the possibilities and anxieties arising from the collaboration between humans and emerging intelligent systems personified in the robot. The artwork uses a Sawyer collaborative robot, an articulated 7-jointed robot arm that somewhat resembles a snake. The robot is able to be used in close proximity to humans, unlike most industrial robots, and will stop before causing physical harm. This enables human partners to physically interact with the robot to co-create a performance of dance and music.
The work has two modes: performance mode and interactive mode.
Performance mode is a collaborative duet between the robot and a professional dancer. Using a handheld VR controller to pick out points in space, the dancer is able to choreograph the robot’s movement in real time, in collaboration with the robot. The robot’s movements generate music in real time, with the rotation, position and motion of the robot determining pitch, rhythm, timbre etc. In this way, the dancer responds to and collaborates in both the robot’s movements and the generated music, creating a collaborative dance duet that is unique every performance.
In interactive mode, members of the public can play with the robot using a handheld VR controller to choreograph the robot’s movements which, as in performance mode, generates music in realtime. Inviting a playful interaction, people can collaborate with the robot to make a real time robot music and dance performance. People can respond to the robot movement and indeed will find it hard to remain passive in the unfolding duet that is unique to each person.
Technology in the arts has largely been seen as a tool for the creation of artworks by humans. This notion is being challenged as systems become more sophisticated and display abilities to generate works that can be construed as artistic in nature, often guided by human examples. Eve of Dust explores the development of human collaboration with artistically inclined machines, robots and systems in general.
Now systems are able to not only make cars but drive them as well, not just store images but recognise their contents and even diagnose ailments in people contained in those images, our relationship and future dependency on non-human systems is rapidly escalating. Eve of Dust is conceived to appeal to and challenge anyone interested in the future of work and leisure and our evolving relationship with increasingly capable systems. Eve Of Dust aims to fire the imaginations of all who witness it and engage them in thinking about our lives lived alongside increasingly capable machines.
Robots are often portrayed as antagonists or servants of humans. Eve Of Dust invites people to consider a robot as a collaborator in the creation of art - in this case a music and dance work - rather than an industrial servant. Of course, machines, especially computers, have been used in the creation of art for some time now, but Eve Of Dust asks whether a semi-autonomous robot can be considered an artistic collaborator rather than a tool.