A robot that draws and a choir that sings for a hundred years
Step into the current Studio Residencies at Bristol’s Watershed and you may be greeted by a robot that draws or stumble upon part of an instrument that dates back to the nineteenth century but promises to play for another one hundred years. Here, anything goes and the artists are busy getting their projects ready to be showcased on 31 January.
The Pervasive Media Studio is Watershed’s city centre research lab and it’s here that artists can research projects at the intersection of art, technology and culture by taking risks freely and without limits.
Artists Ben Sadler and Phil Duckworth of Juneau Projects are investigating the artistic possibilities of thinking machines. They’re asking how technology can inform what these machines make, rather than just being a tool in the process. With the help of fellow studio resident and Robotic Engineer Adam Spiers, the group’s research focussed on the development of a bespoke robotic arm which can create its own artworks.
In the other corner we have writer, performer and composer Timothy X Atack and musician, sound artist and instrument designer MrUnderwood who are collectively known as Geiger-Muller Sound System (or GMSS001 for short). They’re exploring how fiction, narrative and even a bit of story-telling might come about from some reeds of an old harmonium close to collapse. The ancient church harmonium which is dying a slow rotten death in Timothy’s back garden may end up living forever though, as the pair aim to diassemble it and scatter the parts around the world. They can be pumped to make a single sound or can be played together to make a chord, creating a legacy that will live on long after even they have gone.
All artists will be at the extraordinary showcase to talk about their unique developments and if that’s not enough, you may even get the chance to see the robotic arm in action.