The National Gallery of Victoria’s (NGV) Triennial opens this week, with three robot dogs from Boston Dynamics taking up residence in the museum’s main hall. More than 100 projects from all over the world will be presented. Featured artists include Yoko Ono, Tracey Emin, fashion house Schiaparelli and digital artist collective SMACK. The topic is “Magic: Substance”. According to the organizers, the goal of the NGV Triennial 2023 is to “brightly and movingly paint today’s world.” These dogs, named Basya, Omuzana and Bunny, will also work for the next four months during the Triennale, which will take place from December 3rd to April 7th, with one of the three robots she lives with (whose name is Basya). The robots move semi-automatically, meaning they are programmed to follow the commands they have been taught, but do so in the order they see fit, meaning they decide which direction to move their paws (arms), how hard to push the canvas, and whether to draw dots or lines . For the first time, Pilate will work with robot dogs alone, without observing them.
“People coming to the show will have the impression that the machines have a mind of their own, but at the moment they don’t. Robots, as before, remain tools and an extension of the human body, just as a smartphone is an extension of the hand and a camera is an extension of the eye. Pilate introduces the machines as her students and adds that her “dream” is that the machines will one day find self-awareness and that she will see the work they will create together in cooperation” She was born in communist Poland and moved to San Francisco , to study painting and illustration at the Academy of Arts. This experience influenced her work and shaped her worldview as a self-proclaimed “techno-optimist”. She says: “When the Berlin Wall came down, the first thing my father did was buy a car. And this machine was not just a tool. It was a promise of something better, something to come. This is what technology means to me, but it should also be noted that it can also be a source of fear, making art more accessible, that is, “demoralizing” people who came from the other side (artists),” she told CyberNews. That kind of thinking has brought Pilate success in Silicon Valley, where some of the collectors of her work are big names in the tech industry.
In 2020, Boston Dynamics first commissioned Pilate to paint a series of portraits, and that’s how their relationship began. Then, in addition to this active creative collaboration, she also became an artist at Agility Robotics and SpaceX. The Melbourne exhibition is an opportunity for Pilat to share her message with a wider audience and an important milestone for her as an artist. The message she is trying to get across in Melbourne is that new technologies, including artificial intelligence and robotics, are still in their infancy, and that humanity must collectively work to learn and develop these new technologies in the afterlife.” I hope , that you embrace this new technology as a new kind of collaborator or partner on the planet,” she says. This will be the third time the NGV Triennale has been held after the first edition in 2017 was a huge success and attracted almost 1.3 million visitors in four months.Pilatus says he hopes to develop the exhibition in Melbourne, where machines from Boston Dynamics are expected to paint dozens of works that will be transferred to other museums around the world.